Gendering the February 20th Movement: Moroccan Women Redefining: Boundaries, Identities and Resistances

Author(s) Houda Abadi
Contact Houda Abadi, Georgia State University, 33 Gilmer Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 8, Iss. 1, 2014, pp. 7-25
Published May 10, 2014
Type Article
Abstract The Arab Spring opened up social and political spaces for women to make demands for gender quality, political and social reform, human rights, and equality. It has produced, changed and reinvigorated contestations around space, citizenship, femininity, religion, and sense of belonging, as women played an increasingly significant role in the revolutionary processes and developments in the region. This article will analyze the online and offline communication strategies that the February 20th Movement employed to answer the following three questions: a) What is the nature of gendered based demands and how are they articulated in February 20th movement?; b) How did the movement’s activists discursively construct the gendered subjects and what are the material effects of the discourse; and lastly, c) What forms of expression, tools, and channels were used by Moroccan women activists to ensure the inclusion of gender-related issues and demands in political movement? To answer these questions, this qualitative study will take into account the prevailing political, social and economic contexts of Morocco, in an attempt to interpret Moroccan women activists’ experiences, demands, opportunities and constraints and how they contribute to redefining these women’s identities, subjectivities and resistances differently. It uses textual and visual analysis of mediated communication materials obtained from the February 20th movement digital campaign videos and website to document not only women’s representation within the February 20th movement but also explores the various ways subjects are materially and discursively constituted and circumscribed.
Keywords gender, Muslim women, Arab Spring, public sphere, activism, Morocco