Female Arab Bloggers

If I counted right, there are 32 female bloggers from 114 total bloggers on Jordan Planet. This is about 28% if my 6th grade arithmetic skills still serve me well.

Why did I count? Because of the 27 bloggers whose blogs are listed in my links section based on the frequency of my surfing, 13 of them are female, which is about half. But of the 18 bloggers who I will check on first before turning to aggregators like Jordan Planet and Toot, about 11 of those happen to be Arab females; a majority.

The reason I mention this is because I never paid attention to those numbers or the genders behind them while clicking their respective links. However upon this realization, it came as somewhat of a surprise to me and it made me wonder what the numbers are like out there in the general Arab blogosphere; a cyber world that is apparently too vast and growing at too fast a pace to ever present me with any accurate number.

From first glance there seems to be a healthy dose of female Arab bloggers although I figure males will out number them. It probably has a lot to do with the stigma of geekiness and the lacking of femininity that the Internet carries, especially blogging.

I know the Arab blogosphere, like many others of its kind, is dependent on demographics. Access to the Internet, standards of living, education et cetera, all this has to be considered to “assess the blogosphere”. But ceteris paribus, I really don’t think too much about that in the general context of it all. And I also don’t care about what they (female bloggers) talk about, be it a very feminist issue, makeup or politics or whatever; everyone has their shtick. I’m just glad there are female Arab bloggers out there and a significant number at that. Without that voice to balance things out it would be one hell of a boring blogosphere, that’s for sure.

In any case this observation brings many questions to mind such as:

Are there more female Arab bloggers? If not, will they one day become the majority? And are there major differences in the topics they discuss as opposed to male Arab bloggers? Do those topics conform with social norms or does the Internet provide a medium to break with those norms? If the blogger is anonymous can one tell if they are female or male at first glance, from say, the writing style? Do female Arab bloggers tackle the taboo subjects more than the male Arab bloggers? Do female Arab bloggers tackle the issues pertaining to the Arab woman, which are plenty in this day and age, or do they tend to avoid it?

And many many other questions…


  • Cool topic. I always knew that the females are a lot less than the males, but I didn’t realize the ratio was as low as 28 to (100-28). I think it has to do with the fact that the females are more active in blogging…

  • IF you want to easily even the odds, check iToot, where the number of female bloggers is twice as much as male …
    I guess Jordan bloggosphere is male dominated while iToot (which has more diverse Arabic Blogs) has different odds

    Jeeran might have good statistics on the matter. They apparently have a big number of subscribers and I think the question of Gender pops up during registration
    On a similar notte, less and less women are getting in the Computer Science field, maybe they’er smarter. Although blogging might not really need a CS degree, it does appear to be a challange for some, Why more women need to study Computer Science

  • roba, but wouldn’t being more active mean more females? or did you mean males?

    Q, i think most bloggers, male or female, dont have a degree in CS. and toot isnt really a blogosphere, it’s selective blogs and there’s no way the females are double. that’s about 80 of the 122 blogs, no?

  • No, actually, I mean active in blogging. The female bloggers blog more, they write better (for the most part at least), cover more diverse topics, and generally interact more with the community.

    Q, lol, you think? I don’t think it has anything to do with CS either. Of course, it does require rudimentary knowledge of CS, but it’s really easy to learn. I didn’t know ANYTHING when I started blogging, I remember it took me ages to figure out how to insert an image (those days the only way you could do that was with html tags). I learned as I went along. It’s easy and doesn’t need anything.
    It’s even easier today than it was a couple of years ago, with sites such as Flickr, YouTube, Blogger, etc. giving people a run for their money without any money.

  • Roba, ah i see, yes that is probably true but it wouldn’t really describe their low numbers. this reminds me of the question of why there are less women in politics.

  • I always thought and stil think that females are more into reading, writing and expressing themselves more than males. I still don’t know why there are more male bloggers than female ones. It doesn’t make sense to me.

    I do believe that by the writing style, someone can figure the gender of the writer. Isn’t that how Charles Dickens discovered that George Eliot is a female writer afterall:)

    Nice discussion topic Naseem

  • Actually, my point was the following:

    If women had a bigger role in defining the way things work (on the Internet) things would have been made much simpler and in an encouraging way to other women. (Take Flickr as an example, one of the reasons why it’s so popular is that women vision has been incorporated in it)

    Anyway, yes it doesn’t require a CS degree, and it shouldn’t 🙂

  • “If women had a bigger role in defining the way things work (on the Internet) things would have been made much simpler and in an encouraging way to other women.”

    Things would have been made much simpler to other women? Could you elaborate? Because to me it sounds like you just said “If it was upto them, women would dumb things (the Internet) down”

    Actually usability is becoming an increasingly bigger issue in CS or Computer Engineering. THis is not because of women, but because most of the population don’t have a degree in CS nor the desire to spend anything more than a few minutes to learn something new, and of course, the many accidents and mistakes that could result from poor usability engineering.

  • With Nas’s permission, I would like to respond to lksfadljk
    No, I am not suggesting that they would actually “dumb” it down. But rather make it more accessible, usable and hospitable to the masses.

    I think you took the reverse of what I’m advocating which is taking a fresh look and perspective on everything we grew to accept as normal. And taking into account the needs of the rest of society not the bunch of geeks designing things right now because they are clueless when it comes to the needs of others.

  • nas
    your calculations are not accurate coz u only counted female bloggers on JP and you know that there are lots more out there.I for example w a3otho billa min kilmet I,am not added YET,maslan ya3ni.

    now what Qweider said is what goes into my mind right now.women are well known for their good ability to organize things and i am not talking beds and living rooms here,they take their work seriously,now a month ago we read an announcemnt by JP that there will be some changes but nothing happened.

    as for politics,I have an explanation for women not willing to be involved there but i don’t think you’ll like my explanation so I’ll keep it to myself 😉

  • I would also be interested in knowing figures from a network like Jeeran. One thing that might explain the lopsided figures in JP is “privacy”. Women might not be as eager as men to have their blogs widely distributed. (Though the figures from Toot might shoot down that theory.)

  • mala2e6, i never said JP was representitive of the whole Jordanian blogosphere in the same way toot is not representitive of the entire arab blogosphere, they are both selective. but they do represent a good general sampling of what’s offered “out there”.

    as for politics, feel free to add your voice to this discussion

  • though it must have become an established science.. u know, trying to see who is better in what, men or women… I believe it is wrong to think of gender as determining a skill… i believe in the theory of seven intelligences! everyone is born with all human skills, some are stronger than others..
    on another hand, men are more on the blogsphere simply because they have more time.. women have full time jobs at work and at home.. guys just have so much free time!

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