International Studies Homework

Need to write a research paper of 10 pages. Instructions are bellow. Follow the instructions carefully please. It has to be plagiarism free! It has to be done for November 15th before 5pm.


Final Research Paper Instructions


1) Pick two Muslim-majority countries (perhaps one Arab and one non-Arab one or one with a significant non-Muslim population and one which is more homogenous or one middle-income, one poor country, etc). Examples: Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Maghrebi societies (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria), Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, etc.


2) Give a brief (2 page) history of the states/societies you pick. Start with the formation of nation-states mostly in the 20th century (you should mention what empire they were part of, and you might want to mention how they were incorporated into that political-economic system before the 20th century (but be concise). An example of how brief this could be: Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire between 1517-1882. It was then ruled by the British who had a particular interest in control of the Suez Canal. British rule formally ended in 1922, but it was not until 1952 that Egypt gained its independence and began its political life as a modern nation-state…..or something of this sort).


The formation of nation-states, and the expansion of the nation-state system (which today we take for granted) is a relatively recent phenomenon. The chapters in Deniz Kandiyoti’s edited volume make clear that a) the circumstances under which nation-states were formed, b) the forms that these new states took, and c) specific policies they carried out have had (and continue to have) implications for gender relations.


Therefore, the ‘history section’ of your paper should focus on some major developments as they impacted gender relations in the particular countries you pick (often –  but not always – codified in national law). For e.g. the coming to power of a secular, Western-oriented elite in Turkey and the similarly oriented Shah in Iran are major developments that you should mention if these are the countries you pick for your research. The discovery of oil will be important for some countries of the Persian/Arab Gulf (it is your job to explain how exactly these developments were important, in general, and in terms of the status of women, in particular). Wars, occupations or international alliances might be relevant to explaining how country X or Y regulated gender relations (it is usually through the Civil or Family law that such regulation is enacted; think about rules governing marriage, divorce, custody, travel, but also voting, work, citizenship etc). You should consult your syllabus, and do a little bibliographical research to locate two or three other sources that will be useful to you.


You should address the following questions as part of your paper: Why would you need to think/write about the peculiar histories of these countries? Aren’t they all Muslim countries? Do they not all display the same sorts of attitudes toward women? You could use our readings on and class discussions of other countries to help you think through your answer. I would like to hear/read your analysis.


3) Discuss the status of women in this society, referring to specific contemporary debates of relevance in that country. Make sure to locate the  status of women within the larger context of the challenges men and women face in this country (unemployment, natural disasters, occupation, wars, etc). If this is a particularly poor country, say so, and provide some descriptive  statistics (you can use the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index and country reports for this). What are the literacy rates for men and women in this country? Do girls and women have access to education? Do they have the rights to vote, and run for office? How does that work in practice (find some statistics on the percentage of women actually sitting in parliament,  local governments, etc. and provide proper citation). What is the labor force participation rate of women (these descriptive statistics are relatively easy to get). What kinds of work do girls and women perform in this society? Are there professions from which they are barred? Are they fairly renumerated for their labor, more specifically do they get the same pay with men for the same kind of work? Another way of asking the same is this: is there a gender gap in pay?


After providing these general descriptive statistics (the most basic ones are in bold face), focus on one or two contemporary issues of relevance in the country of your choice. Do girls and women have the right to marry a person of their own choice? Do women face particular challenges in divorce or keeping custody of their children? Focus on 3 or 4 contemporary issues to discuss in depth.


I encourage you to use the CEDAW ‘shadow reports’ (written by NGOs, not governments*) to guide your selection of what to discuss. You can cite these reports, but do not copy and paste paragraphs. Put what you learned from those into your own words (you may use charts, graphs and pictures in addition to words).


*Note: it is my personal-political, and historically validated,  opinion that ALL governments present themselves better than they are. This is why I would encourage you to read NGO reports, as they often are critical of their own governments to varying degrees (that doesn’t mean they are always right, and have the last word on the matter). The really meticulous among you might want to read both the government and the NGO reports, but I suggest NGOs’ because they often make reference to the government report in theirs’. Read about CEDAW here, including the very last paragraph to put this assignment in context:


For the ‘contemporary gender issues’ section of your paper you should read the latest CEDAW reports submitted by governments and/or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). You can find English translations of most of these reports on the website of Women Living Under Muslim Laws


4) You must state the author(s) of the NGO report. This will often be a women’s organization, or in countries where many different women’s groups exist, a platform or an umbrella coalition of women’s groups.


5) If you are curious, and want to conduct a little armchair research on the world wide web, you might include a list of organizations and social-political movements that are actively working to improve girls’ and women’s rights in this society (societies if you pick two). You might want to mention one or two campaigns in particular. This fourth part is recommended, not required.



The paper should be approximately 4000-5000 words (10 single-spaced pages).

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