Exit Menu

Seminar: Exploring identity, gender and empowerment of an under-represented group: British Arab and North African Muslim girls

The aim of the seminar is to shed light on a particularly under-represented group: Arab and North African Muslim girls. Most of the existing research conducted on Muslim girls in British schools included participants mainly from South Asia, ignoring the fact that Muslims are not a homogenous group. The seminar will introduce the various topics which will be explored in this research, such as multiple identities, gender, the understanding of empowerment from a lens other than a Eurocentric lens. The research will aim to capture the narratives and experiences of Arab and North African Muslim girls, at a secondary school in South West London, with high percentage of Muslim girls from the MENA region. A big part of the seminar will explore the experiences of the researcher and the challenges faced at an early stage of the research whilst navigating her own multiple identities. 

The research aims to promote a change in discourse in terms of identity, gender, and empowerment due to an expected shift in attitudes and experiences following multiple events that occurred in the MENA region or indeed, in the UK. The findings of this research will be a welcomed addition to the existing body of knowledge on Muslim female empowerment and femininity. 


Najwa Iggoute is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Education at Brunel University. She is currently researching multiple identities, agency and empowerment of British Arab and North African Muslim girls. Najwa has a BSc in Psychology from University of Westminster and MSc in Organisational Psychology from City University. Najwa trained as a Modern Foreign Languages teacher at Goldsmith University in 2007, and has been teaching at a girls’ secondary school in South West London ever since. Najwa is passionate about women’s rights, gender equality and the various forms and interpretations of feminism.

The seminar is part of the open research series 'Education, the global South, and Beyond', at the Department of Education. It is being held Thursdays lunchtime, 1 to 2 pm, in the Zoom meeting room. This series aims to create an interactive space for postgraduate students, doctoral and early career researchers, scholars, research practitioners and faculty to meet in a relaxed, supportive and collaborative environment to discuss topics of international education, development and related issues. Meeting links will also be shared on the Diversity, Equity and Education Collective (DeCol) webpage. 

DeCol is a network of international scholars, mostly doctoral, postdoctoral and early career researchers working on issues of education and development. It aims to expand research and practice in education and beyond by inclusion of multi-disciplinary perspectives, creative approaches, and contextualised understandings of multiple lived realities and experiences in diverse international contexts.

Everyone warmly welcome!

Join Zoom Meeting: https://bruneluniversity.zoom.us/j/91472298556
Meeting ID: 914 7229 8556
Passcode: 1159952053