New article on Techno-Orientalism, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Good Tidings for Saudi Women? Techno-Orientalism, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Author: Joel W. Abdelmoez (Lund University)

September, 2022

CyberOrient Journal of the Virtual Middle East and Islamic World

Abstract

Gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still a contentious and hotly debated issue, both within the country and in global news media as well as social media. Not least has the government app “Absher” drawn attention and criticism, due to features that allow male guardians to track their female dependants, issue or withdraw travel permits, and file for divorce at the click of a button. This study aims to explore the campaigns and debates around the app, and how it has been represented in global media. Focusing mainly on social media campaigning by journalists, activists, as well as the Saudi government, I hope to shed light on the different sides of the debate, and what the representation of Saudi Vision 2030, the reforms and the app, particularly in European and American media discourse, tell us about popular imaginations of Islam, technology, and gender.

CMES Research Seminar: Techno-Islam, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Joel Abdelmoez gives a talk on “Techno-Islam, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse”.

When: 3 March 2022, 13:15 to 14:30 (CEST)
Where:  CMES Seminar room (Finngatan 16) and on Zoom

Registration: Follow this link to register for the event

Gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still a contentious and hotly debated issue, both within the country and in global news media as well as social media. Not least has the government app “Absher” drawn attention and criticism, due to features that allow male guardians to track their female dependants, issue or withdraw travel permits, and file for divorce at the click of a button. This talk aims to explore the campaigns and debates around the app, and how it has been represented in global media. Focusing mainly on social media campaigning by journalists, activists, as well as the Saudi government, I hope to shed light on the different sides of the debate, and what the representation of Saudi Vision 2030, the reforms and the app, particularly in European and American media discourse, tell us about popular imagination of Islam, technology, and gender.

Joel W. Abdelmoez is a Doctoral Student at CMES and the Department of Political Science at Lund University. Joel works on feminist movements and activism, mediatized/performed gender and gender politics in the Middle East, with particular focus on Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He is a former adjunct lecturer and Director of Studies for Middle Eastern Studies at Stockholm University. He holds a BA and MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Stockholm University and an MPhil in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge.