Maya El Helou


This thesis is a process of questioning and understanding. It is also an invitation to begin by tackling social problems in a different way: by asking questions rather than looking at the world as if it is static, where one solution can be the answer. Through this research I try to unpack the complexity of activism under neoliberalism. Moreover I try to problematize the forces of gender governance that via its international institutions constantly attempt to absorb feminist collectives by limiting possibilities to rupture hegemonic narratives of the UN, global legal imaginations that at this moment in history articulate, arbitrate and define justice, assigning ongoing problems of justice to issues of local implementation. This discourse of the UN disregards the social and economic situations that produce the injustices UN legal infrastructures presume to fight against. Thus this thesis is an attempt to push beyond these discourses and unpack the social and economical situations that produce injustices.


Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies

Degree Name

MA in Gender & Women's Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2015

First Advisor

Rieker, Martina

Committee Member 1

Al Sabaa, Hann


130 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Women -- Lebanon -- Social conditions.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Feminism -- Lebanon.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


This Masters degree was obtained through the Arab Women Professiol Program fellowship. The research in this thesis was funded by the American University of Cairo.