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News & Press: Open Call

Call for Authors for Middle Eastern Women in Leadership

Monday, July 17, 2017  
Posted by: Jasper McCroskey

We are working on a book proposal on Middle Eastern Women in Leadership (Co-Editors: Lulwa Mutlaq and Gary N. McLean) with the publisher, Palgrave Macmillan. It is a part of the Asian Women in Leadership book series (co-editors: Yonjoo Cho, Rajashi Ghosh, Judy Sun, and Gary N. McLean). 

This book will consist of about 15 chapters: after an introductory chapter, individual country chapters will cover topics such as status from past to present, factors leading change, sector perspectives, challenges and opportunities, recommendations for future research, and recommendations for practice. The book will end with a concluding chapter. We will present our authors’ perspectives on women leaders in, for example, the six GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman), Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others.

Many countries in the Middle East have been highly dependent on oil over the past few decades and has been impacted tremendously by the recent oil price drop. Nevertheless, it remains of strategic importance in the global energy market, due to its abundant oil and gas reserves and recent focus on several initiatives towards 2030 vision.  However, it is also a region that has been marked by many economic and political turbulences. Across the Middle East, with great appetite for constructive change, the role of women has gained more attention recently. Increasingly, a focus on gender parity and untapped women’s talent, especially in government, energy, and the manufacturing and financial sectors, is receiving much needed consideration. Deeply rooted cultural, legislative, and educational barriers account for much of the low representation.

Although the status of women in the Middle East may have some similarities, when we compare the countries to each other, significant differences can be acknowledged. For example, the educational opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia are not equal to men, and the focus on educating women in different fields is more deeply rooted in the UAE, and can be tied to tribal and governmental initiatives.  On the other hand, some women in Bahrain have recently been given opportunities for voice and leadership.

Although women are a great reservoir of quality work, they have been underdeveloped human capital, as the global gender gap indicates. In recent decades, women’s participation in economic and political activities has resulted in promoting their social status and leadership, but some cultural traditions remain unchanged, especially in family structures and interactions. Women’s roles as mothers and wives are very strongly upheld as the fundamental duty for women in the Arab world. This, coupled with strong cultural and religious restrictions, has disabled women from taking on a more active role, in the past. A phenomenon strongly associated with a sticky floor syndrome, often keeps women from achieving the desired advancements. Not only do women have to deal with breaking the glass ceiling, but they also need to learn how to push through the glass walls.
We are inviting you to express your interest in participating in this book project. Please email both of us by August 15 midnight EST time, at and, and provide us a paragraph of no more than 150 words to indicate your expertise and, in rank order, your top 3 interests in which you wish to participate, based on the book outline below.
Middle Eastern Women in Leadership

Book Chapter Tentative Outline

Co-Editors: Lulwa Mutlaq and Gary N. McLean
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Chapter 1: The Status of Women Leaders in the Middle East: An Introduction (Lulwa Mutlaq)

Chapter 2: Bahrain (Lulwa Mutlaq)
Chapters 3-12

Chapter 13: The Middle East in an Asian Context
Chapter 14: The Middle East in a Non-Asian Context

Chapter 15: Synthesis – Convergence, Divergence, and Crossvergence: Practice, Sector, and International Perspectives (Gary N. McLean)

Note that the outlined chapter titles are temporary ones, indicating the content and book structure, not the actual title. You are welcome to submit your chapter title based on your interest, and, if selected, you are free to change this, with our input, as we move forward. Also, expressing interest for 3 chapters does not imply that you would be expected to write 3 chapters. We will allocate chapters in a manner that balances your interest with our need of finding an author or authors for every chapter noted in the outline. Our preference is to have each chapter co-authored to represent varied perspectives. If you are willing to co-author a chapter and have a preferred partner, please indicate who the team will be and provide the 150-word description of your backgrounds for each of you.  If you do not have a partner in mind, but you are willing to co-author, please let us know, as there will be others in a similar situation, and we will help match co-authors, with the approval of both parties.

Additionally, please forward this information to people who might be interested in the book topic. We welcome perspectives from scholars and practitioners, men and women, and those from the Middle East and those outside who know the situation in the Middle East well. No abstracts are required at this time. We will make a decision by late September about the participating authors and their chapters. At that point, we will invite you to submit a short abstract that we can include in our proposal to the publisher.

The deadline for the submission of the first draft of the book chapters is likely to be early 2018. You may contact any of us if you would like more information. We are so excited to be working on this project and look forward to working with many of you in the successful completion of the book project!

Lulwa Mutlaq                                                                                        Gary N. McLean
Vice Rector, Assistant Professor                                             Professor Emeritus
University of Business and Technology                               University of Minnesota                                                                                 

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