Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

David I. Hanauer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.


This poetic ethnographic study aims to explore Libyan Muslim women’s

experiences and aims to theorize Libyan feminism. The ultimate purpose for the dissertation is to facilitate the voice of Libyan women and empower them through their experiences. In the coming chapters, I highlighted the significance of doing this research. First, I introduced the investment in the study. Second, I conducted methodology of history to reconstruct Libyan history through my feminist interpretations of old photos and people’s memoirs. Third, I reviewed the theoretical framework of Islamic feminism

and discussed extensively the term and its implications in the Muslim world. I explained poetic ethnography as a research methodology that promotes voice and individuality. When analyzing the data, I came up with four major themes that chronologically explore Libyan women’s lived experiences 1) during King’s time, 2) before the revolution, 3) during the revolution, and 4) after the revolution. Those themes include sub themes, which provide in-depth analysis for those experiences. The discussion of the themes show that Libyan women’s experiences varied and were impacted by the government of the country. Where in the King’s rule the women lived a simple life with a strict education system, during Gaddafi, the women suffered from marginalization and oppression. Their daily experiences were wiped out by his

dominance and his monolithic decisions. During and after the revolution, the women struggled to liberate themselves and struggled to gain more attention in society. The data shows that Libyan women have overcome many challenges, including helping their male siblings in the war against Gaddafi.

In relation to Islamic feminism, I define Libyan feminism as an empowering tool that helps Libyan women to understand their rights and obligations under the framework of Islam. The data shows that women entertain more freedom if the society treats them in a respected way that helps preserve their identities and personal choices based on Islamic teachings.

Available for download on Thursday, July 11, 2019