The Gulf’s gender anxiety – Rasha Moumneh

As women in the Gulf become more visible, both socially and politically, and as migrants bring with them different ways of living, the region’s governments are stepping up their gender policing. To allay fears among conservative elements, they are regulating more tightly what is deemed acceptable behaviour for men and women.

The direct targets of this backlash are those who visibly challenge gender norms – in particular, boyat (an Arabisation of the English word “boy”, generally referring to women with a masculine appearance) together with transgender men and women.