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Role of Social Media in the Empowerment of Arab Women

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Abstract

In the Middle East, the lack of press freedom means people are unable to receive information, let alone analytic and interpretative functionalism of mass media. If Arab Spring is any lesson, the right to information is vital for political participation and socio-economic development. The path traveled by nationalists and activists in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, plus movements in Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and conservative Saudi Arabia, indicates that women have awaken to exploiting unconventional media to combat discrimination and inequality imbedded in their societies. Women are aware of the tight control on information by governmentowned press that has routinely ignored promoting women’s issues, including education and positions of authority. Women have, heretofore, lacked a voice to articulate their plight until they discovered virtual media. They use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to transmit messages to empower women. As a result, Arab women have marginalized inequality in society, education, and professional opportunities.

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