University of Cambridge > > Wolfson Research Event 2016 > Unlocking The Secret and Breaking The Cycle: Exploring Menstrual Taboos in Contemporary Jordan

Unlocking The Secret and Breaking The Cycle: Exploring Menstrual Taboos in Contemporary Jordan

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

  • UserAlethea Osborne – MPhil Student, Modern Middle-East Studies, St Antony’s College
  • ClockFriday 04 March 2016, 16:20-16:30
  • HouseLee Hall, Wolfson College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Francisco Orozco.

Jordan is often characterised as a locus of calm in the Middle East compared to many of its neighbours. Consequently, with the spotlight focused elsewhere, social injustice and gender inequality in Jordan is commonly overlooked. This work draws from interviews carried out during August 2015 in Jabal Al-Natheef; a religiously conservative and economically poor area of Amman in which women typically leave school before completing education. Asking women questions about their first menstrual experiences provides an insight into the private conceptions many of us hold about our bodies and the stigmas attached to them. The levels of internalised sexism amongst Jordanian women can be illustrated by their reverence for male doctors, and the almost ubiquitous acceptance of their natural bodily functions as dirty and shameful. An interesting paradox arises: Jordan is a society obsessed with reproduction, and promotes a woman’s primary role as that of mother, wife, or daughter, and yet menstruation is deeply misunderstood. As a result, menstruation can become a topic occupying women’s private preoccupation – shrouded in guilt, shame and misinformation. Something as seemingly regular and personal as a period can in reality be indicative of social, political, and religious conditioning which influences some of the most fundamental elements of gender and identity.

This talk is part of the Wolfson Research Event 2016 series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity