Resource Section
History & Culture

Rethinking the Region: Women and Gender

This unit was developed based on an extensive analysis of the representation of Middle Eastern and North African women in US high school textbooks. Finding that women are generally portrayed as passive and oppressed, this unit offers three lesson plans that challenge the dominant narratives and portray the multiple and diverse roles women have played throughout the region over time. The first lesson plan, "Women in the Middle East and North Africa, Past and Present," encourages students to consider their own notions of Arab women throughout history. In the second lesson, "Primary Sources to Explore Gender," students analyze the diversity of women's roles, experiences, and realities through primary sources. The third lesson, "Contemporary Realities of Women," exposes students to the diversity of women's lives today.

Maria Hantzopoulos, Monisha Bajaj, Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Roozbeh Shirazi, Zeena Zakharia