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Fatema Hubail


(DAAD Doctoral Fellow)

Silencing Gender Violence Online: A Study of the Arab World's Digital Margins

Silencing Gender Violence Online: A Study of the Arab World's Digital Margins

This research focuses on how gender violence in the Arab World experiences silencing throughout digital spaces. Hashtags from #MeToo, #AnaKaman to #IAmNext, present a digital space where women are able to speak up, confront, and defy the violence they experienced, where Twitter users advocated for victims of femicide addressing state failures in protecting women. However, we also witness an active form of digital silencing in which citizens (or more aptly, digital users) surveille—reinforcing gendered norms of shame ascribed to women’s bodies, notions of upholding “honor”, family values, and to an extent justifying these crimes. In conjunction to citizen “surveillance” and steering of the narratives on the digital space, state-sanctioned narratives and more formal forms of surveillance are also visible, with state laws, responses, and in most times, reservations towards commenting on these crimes reproduce the digital space as a controlling one, rather than a site of redress that women who experienced violence can resort to, and women who lost their lives to violence can be advocated for. This project focuses on this contested digital space that functions as a solace for women to speak to, hear from, and engage with other victims of violence, whilst being a space that other members of society (in)validate these experiences. Through investigating forms of digital silence and digital silencing, this research will look at the ways repercussions ascribed to women’s bodies emerge digitally, and to what extent do digital engagements with stories of women from the margins disembody their digital and/or social presence. This research aspires to collect, document, and analyze women’s lived experiences as they are shared, if not contested, digitally.


First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs


Co-Editor of Reorienting the Gulf: Epistemologies, Intellectual Traditions, and New Approaches (special issue) Forthcoming in Journal of Arabian Studies, Forthcoming)

Vatanasakdakul, S., Aoun, C., & Hubail, F. (2023). Social Commerce in Qatar: A Holistic Framework for Modeling Engagement. Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) 2023 Conference.

Hubail, F. (2021). In the Shadow of the Law: Bahraini Women's Realities within the Covid-19 Pandemic. Series 2 Vol. 3 Amicus Curiae, 218.

Hubail, F. (2020). From Kuwait’s Margins to Tolaytila’s Mainstream: Sheno Ya3ni Challenging Social Positioning through Dystopian Satire. In S. Damir-Geilsdorf & S. Milich (Eds.). Creative Resistance: Political Humor in the Arab Uprisings (259-296). Transcript Verlag.

Hubail, F. (2019). Bahraini Fictions: The Codification of Difference through Unifying the Family (Masters dissertation, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Qatar).