Women working in Oman: Individual choice and cultural constraints

Dawn Chatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Middle Eastern women have often been portrayed by Westerners as silent shadows or as helpless victims of suppressive customs and traditions who are unable to organize or form groups on their own and for themselves and are prevented from entering fully into the public sector of life. The past decade, however, has seen an explosion in research and publication that fully acknowledges women as people in their own right. Women in the Middle East have come to be seen as political and economic actors who fend for themselves and struggle and reflect on their lives and the future of their societies. Through their actions, the boundary that defines what is traditional cultural behavior and what is contemporary, foreign, or unacceptable is often blurred. The patriarchal state, however, fails to recognize the transformative power of women's contemporary behavior, which pushes the definition of 'accepted' or 'traditional' behavior beyond that found in official documents and local and regional legislation, with their largely male audience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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