Focus and Scope
Al-Raida, The Pioneer, is a bi-annual interdisciplinary semi peer-reviewed journal published by Arab Institute for Women (AiW) at the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Lebanon.
The Institute strengthens research on and by women in the Arab world at national, regional, and international levels and provides much-needed Arab perspectives to global discourses on Arab women and gender equality in the region. Al-Raida is the Institute’s signature journal, in publication since May 1976.
Al-Raida’s mission is to give voice to Arab women through enhancing understanding between Arab women and women worldwide, highlighting scholarship on and by Arab women, promoting research on Arab women’s issues, and serving as a platform for young voices and activists in the Arab world.
Al-Raida is a space for researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and students to address gender equality and women’s issues in the Arab world. The publication sheds light on the lived experiences of women in the Arab world by promoting scholarship on and by Arab women. As such, it also contributes to strengthening connections between Arab women’s movements and women’s movements worldwide.
Al-Raida welcomes submissions not only from academics and researchers but also from activists and practitioners. Al-Raida publishes scholarly articles that undergo a double-blind peer-reviewing process, as well as creative pieces, reflections by activists, viewpoints, interviews, short stories, poems, photographic essays, conference reports, as well as reviews on topics across a wide range of disciplines.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
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.