Language and gender in North Africa

contextualising an emerging discipline


  • Fatima Sadiqi Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University



language and gender, North Africa, underrepresentation, International Gender and Language Association (IGALA), multilingualism, linguistic agency


This essay investigates and contextualises the emergence and evolution of the discipline of ‘Language and Gender’ in North Africa in an attempt to remedy the underrepresentation of this region in scholarship. I ground this essay in my experiences with Language and Gender in Morocco and the International Gender and Language Association (IGALA), both of which were central in shaping my academic journey. The pre- and post-Uprisings periods surrounding what is often discussed as the ‘Arab Spring’ in the early 2010s carried serious consequences for the emergence of Language and Gender as a discipline. These moments and my involvement in them were deeply impacted by specific historical, sociopolitical and intellectual dimensions, most saliently the women’s movement and the discipline of linguistics. My essay draws on these experiences to advocate for the importance of decolonising the international language and gender canon with North African perspectives that move beyond English and the Global North.

Author Biography

Fatima Sadiqi, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University

Fatima Sadiqi is Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fes, Morocco. She is President of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS) and editor-in-chief of Language and Linguistics and Feminist Research. Focusing on women’s and gender issues in modern North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, her publications include Women, Gender and Language in Morocco (Brill, 2003), Women’s Activism and the Public Sphere (Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 2006), Women and Knowledge in the Mediterranean (Routledge, 2013), Moroccan Feminist Discourses (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and Women’s Movements in the Post-‘Arab Spring’ North Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).


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How to Cite

Sadiqi, F. . (2021). Language and gender in North Africa: contextualising an emerging discipline. Gender and Language, 15(4), 591–602.



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