Changing Gender Roles in Libya

Introduction and Method

This essay is written about the changing gender roles in Benghazi, Libya. This survey took place in an institute for teaching English and was prepared by the highest level in the institute. We asked students from levels Pre-Intermediate C to Advanced B six questions. Different members of the Advanced B class surveyed 105 students of different ages, including 78 males and 27 females.

Results

The total number of questions asked was six, two questions on each of the following three subjects, work, home and social life.

Work was a very interesting topic, because fifteen years ago it was very difficult for a woman to work, as it was against the traditions and mentality of Benghazi. It was quite interesting to see how people had changed their minds. Even so, some concepts can’t be changed as one of the questions was about if husbands would agree with their wives working and earning more than they did. We saw that an interesting 71.5% agreed and said it was all right, and of course 28.5% disagreed and said that it was unacceptable, which was a bit of a surprise.

Home was one of the subjects which all the students asked felt that it was easy to answer. One of the questions about home was if men are doing more housework than before. It appears that 66% of the students agreed that men are doing more housework and 34% disagreed. It was notable that one student answered, “Yes, there are more men doing housework nowadays, UNFORTUNATLY!”

Social life was the most interesting subject. One of the questions was about the best way to get married, the answers were quite surprising as 40% said that family match-making was the best and 46% agreed that dating was the best way. Although the community in Benghazi does not make it easy to date in public, but the majority of the students agreed on dating as the best way while last, but not least a small significant minority of 14% of students felt that internet chatting was the best way to get married.

Conclusion

Conducting the survey was a very nice experience and some of the results were surprising while others were expected. Generally, the gender roles in Libya, Benghazi specifically, have changed a lot during the past 15 years. All the subjects in the survey have witnessed a change, but mostly social life has seen major changes. 15 years ago nobody could have ever thought of dating to get married, while now the majority choose dating over family match-making. The country seems to be becoming more modern day by day, which is good on one hand and bad on the other.

Mohammed Akram

Advanced B