Al-raida first appeared in May 1976, 3 years after the founding of the first institute for women’s studies in the Arab world (i.e. IWSAW). It started off as a thin newsletter consisting of a dozen stenciled pages, with the modest and limited purpose of reporting on the activities of IWSAW. With time, however, al-raida grew in size and scope, a development that was also gradually reflected in its appearance. Whereas initially it consisted mostly of profiles of women, conference reports, and summaries of studies, by the mid 1980s an important addition was made, i.e. research-based articles, thus making a qualitative and quantitative leap in terms of content and mandate. By 1994, al-raida reached a new level of maturity with the introduction of a specialized section or “file” which focuses on cutting edge themes and often controversial issues related to women in the Arab world. In 2002, and in line with the technological advances that swept the publishing world in the last decade, the Institute made al-raida available online in both English and Arabic, thus allowing researchers and activists worldwide to have easy and instantaneous access to it. In 2007, al-raida was revamped in both appearance and content. It became smaller in size and new sections were introduced, namely the “young scholars” section and an original “book reviews” section.
More than three decades after its first appearance, in 2013, al-raida was turned into a biannual interdisciplinary peer-reviewed academic journal that contains scholarly articles of international standards as well as non-academic articles. Al-raida will thus continue to invite submissions that enrich the debate on women in the Arab world, whether in the form of interviews, opinion pieces, testimonials, short stories, poems, or essays.
Arab Countries in Transition: Gender Rights and Constitutional Reforms - Part 2 - Issues 145-146-147
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