The Women Who Introduced Sex Education to the Arab World.
Activists are utilizing social media to teach women about their bodies, something Arab countries have failed to accomplish. They are pursuing nothing less than a cultural revolution.
When Nour Emam chose to devote her life to educating Arab women about their bodies, the subject was so taboo that one of her first difficulties was determining how to pronounce the word “clitoris” in Arabic.
“I had never heard of it,” said Ms. Emam, 29, a Cairo-based women’s health activist. “Because no one uses it, there is no place to find the appropriate method to say it.”
She now knows, as do her hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, where she hosts one of the Arab world’s premier venues for sex education.
With little to no official education in sexuality in much of the Middle East and a patriarchal society that has left many Arab women uninformed and afraid of their own bodies, Ms. Emam and an increasing number of activists have created online venues to fill the void.
By circumventing social taboos and official censorship, they are educating Arab women about their bodies, dispelling misconceptions and disinformation, and in some cases, completely transforming women’s lives.
Ms. Emam, who goes by the moniker “motherbeing” in Cairo, has uploaded hundreds of videos to Instagram and TikTok in which she discusses private matters in an intentionally casual manner, sometimes while cooking. In March, she launched a podcast about sexual and reproductive health; the first episode, about orgasms, garnered tens of thousands of listeners.