Heba Metwally


Due to the increasing rates of single or still-unmarried women, also known as spinsters or Awanes, shaping the perceptions of these women is a problem facing Egyptian society. In this paper, the researcher assesses the effects of the media’s depiction of these women, specifically focusing on the movie industry. By conducting a content analysis of Egyptian movies, as well as an examination of the notion of spinsters in language, history and culture, this study demonstrates the impact of movies in constructing a negative image and shaping the perception of unmarried women within Egyptian society. Through in-depth interviews, field observation in rural Egypt, this study aims to measure how people differ in their perception of spinsters through demographics such as gender, location, religion, age, educational level, occupation, social and economic status. It will be argued that the problem lies in the word “spinster” or anas itself, which is commonly defined as an insulting or derogatory word in linguistic definitions as well as in everyday conversations, and which has a negative psychological effect on single or unmarried women. This word constructs a problematic social reality in Egypt, and what is needed is a new social reality, which affirms that single women have a positive and meaningful role in society, and in which she is not defined by her marital status.


Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Date of Award


Online Submission Date

January 2013

First Advisor

Saleh, Ibrahim

Committee Member 1

Saleh, Ibrahim

Committee Member 2

Hamdy, Naila

Document Type



197 p.


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