Title

Saudi Women as Decision Makers: Analyzing the Media Portrayal of Female Political Participation in Saudi Arabia

Source of Publication

Hawwa

Abstract

© 2020 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. This paper analyzes the contrasting media portrayals of female political participation in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Through a thorough discourse analysis of Saudi, British, and American newspaper articles surrounding the 2015 municipal elections, we scrutinize how the portrayal of women as a subject group has shifted from one that requires the constant approval of guardians in the public sphere to one that makes its own decisions and actively participates in politics. We analyze what types of discourses and frames have supported this drastic shift in official Saudi media discourses. We then contrast these findings with the portrayal of Saudi female political participation in Western countries that claim to uphold human rights and gender equality, in contrast to Saudi Arabia. Finally, we contrast our findings with the perceptions of 50 female Saudis regarding female agency and political participation in Saudi Arabia.

Document Type

Article

First Page

75

Last Page

95

Publication Date

1-1-2020

DOI

10.1163/15692086-12341371

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Magdalena Karolak, Zayed University
Hala Guta, Qatar University

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