Gendered Paradoxes: Educating Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress

Paperback | August 28, 2012

byFida Adely

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In 2005 the World Bank released a gender assessment of the nation of Jordan, a country that, like many in the Middle East, has undergone dramatic social and gender transformations, in part by encouraging equal access to education for men and women. The resulting demographic picture there—highly educated women who still largely stay at home as mothers and caregivers— prompted the World Bank to label Jordan a “gender paradox.” In Gendered Paradoxes, Fida J. Adely shows that assessment to be a fallacy, taking readers into the rarely seen halls of a Jordanian public school—the al-Khatwa High School for Girls—and revealing the dynamic lives of its students, for whom such trends are far from paradoxical.
 
Through the lives of these students, Adely explores the critical issues young people in Jordan grapple with today: nationalism and national identity, faith and the requisites of pious living, appropriate and respectable gender roles, and progress. In the process she shows the important place of education in Jordan, one less tied to the economic ends of labor and employment that are so emphasized by the rest of the developed world. In showcasing alternative values and the highly capable young women who hold them, Adely raises fundamental questions about what constitutes development, progress, and empowerment—not just for Jordanians, but for the whole world.
 

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In 2005 the World Bank released a gender assessment of the nation of Jordan, a country that, like many in the Middle East, has undergone dramatic social and gender transformations, in part by encouraging equal access to education for men and women. The resulting demographic picture there—highly educated women who still largely stay at ...

Fida Adely is assistant professor and Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. 
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:August 28, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226006913

ISBN - 13:9780226006918

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction      A Day in the Life of Nada
One      Ambiguous Times and Spaces
Two      Jordan and the al-Khatwa Secondary School for Girls: People, Place, and Time
Three   Performing Patriotism: Rituals and Moral Authority in a Jordanian High School
Four     Who Is a Good Muslim? Making Proper Faith in a Girls’ High School
Five      Making Girls into Respectable Women
Six        Education for What? Women, Work, and Development in Jordan
Seven  Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Focusing on the understudied country of Jordan and the infrequently addressed issue of the education of youth in the Middle East, Gendered Paradoxes explores schools as sites for competing visions, expectations, dreams, and aspirations related to the meaning of womanhood, marriage, love, respectability, and morality. Fida Adely forcefully takes us beyond the view of the Arab woman as a ‘passive’ and ‘oppressed’ victim, sharing with us the words and experiences of a strong and vibrant group of young women who are actively working with and against contradictory and ambiguous norms that define notions of success, respectability, progress, and happiness.”