Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Women, Middle Eastern — General Observations
(949 words)

Gender relations among Middle Eastern Jews have long been described by outsiders as “traditional” and “patriarchal” (terms that often thinly conceal the notion of “backwardness”). However, historical and ethnographic evidence reveals that there has been great diversity in the lives and roles of Mizraḥi women throughout history, and that Middle Eastern Jewish attitudes about women have so many nuances that they cannot be easily categorized as “traditional” versus “modern.” What follows is an attempt to provide a sense of the diversity among Jewish women from Lebanon, Syria, and Egyp…

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Evelyn Dean-Olmsted, “Women, Middle Eastern — General Observations”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_000313>
First published online: 2010

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