Gulf Research Meeting Workshop, July 12-13, 2012, Cambridge, UK
Dalia Abdelhady, May Aldabbagh and Ghalia Gargani
“Women and Globalization in the GCC: Negotiating States, Agency and Social Change”, is a workshop organized by May Aldabbagh from Harvard University and the Gender and Public Policy Program at the Dubai School of Government (DSG) and Dalia Abdelhady from the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Lund at the 2012 Gulf Research Meeting in Cambridge organized by the Gulf Research Center. The overall aim of the workshop was to problematize the “position” of women in the GCC by situating their experience within the framework and rhetoric of globalization in order to arrive at an understanding of the diverse institutional and cultural mechanisms that influence gender dynamics in the region. Specifically, the workshop aimed to explore the variety of ways in which responses to global economic, political, technological, and migratory flows influence the position of women in the GCC and simultaneously how women themselves utilize the institutions and rhetoric of globalization to improve their own position.
A total of fifteen papers were presented showing different ways of understanding, operationalizing, and deconstructing gender dynamics in the region. The authors utilize different methodologies, disciplinary traditions, and analytical perspectives. Yet, they all draw our attention to the complex and contradictory ways in which men and women from or living in the Gulf are selectively incorporated into a world society. The workshop papers were summarized and form the basis of this proceedings document prepared by Ghalia Gargani, Acting Director of DSG’s Gender and Public Policy Program, and the workshop organizers for the benefit of the authors and the larger community of scholars, students, and policy makers interested in women and globalization in the GCC. We hope that this document will be a useful reference for those interested in a more nuanced and complex view of women’s “position” in the Gulf.