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New book examines role of women in Jordanian media

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Dec 10,2022 - Last updated at Dec 10,2022

AMMAN — The book “Women and the Media in Jordan: Gender, Power, Resistance” deals with three key factors in the industry: Labour, representation and activism, according to its author, Ebtihal Mahadeen, who works as a lecturer in Gender and Media Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

“There are multiple reasons why this book was a very important project for me. One of these reasons is that it is an attempt to gather political, personal and academic interests,” noted Mahadeen at the book presentation, organised on Saturday at the CBRL Amman Institute in Jabel Luweibdeh.

There is an academic necessity to undertake this work, because studies on women in the Jordanian media are lacking, and the interplay between gender and media is worthy of study, Mahadeen said.

“It’s only by taking a critical, gender sensitive and analytical lens to the workings of media that we can truly analyse the situation in the local media,” Mahadeen said, adding that the book tried to provide a feminist critical study on how gender power relations play out through media in contemporary Jordan.

“My hope is to contribute to the understanding on how gender dynamics shape media messages and the mediascape in Jordan,” Mahadeen said, adding that the Jordanian media is highly versatile, as journalists embrace new technologies and the country is known for its ICT sector. 

In preparing the book, Mahadeen interviewed 21 media professionals in order to gain a better understanding of the work environment in the Jordanian media. 

“There are specific demands that the media makes on women who are employed as reporters and editors. There were some examples of positive discrimination that benefitted women in media, and some characteristics of the relationships between women and the media that can also be identified in different parts of the world,” Mahadeen said.

 

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