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Habiba Chafai


Habiba Chafai is currently a lecturer at the University of New England in Tangier campus. She is also a former lecturer at the University of Minho in Portugal. She has a Master in Sociolinguistics and a PhD in Language Sciences, particularly in Critical Discourse Analysis. Her PhD thesis tackled the representation of “honour killing” among Muslim immigrants, mainly women, in the British press. It undertook the concepts of identity and difference in the multicultural and multifaith UK.

She is a member of the Centre for Humanistic Studies (CEHUM) of the University of Minho as well as a member of the Association for Studies on Discourse and Society (EDISO). She participated in a number of conferences and workshops in Portugal. She is the author of “Arab women writers: A constant struggle for justice, equality and freedom”, a book chapter published in 2016. She also published another chapter edited by Ana Gabriela Macedo; “Honour killing’ in the UK: Gender, cultural or Muslim phenomenon?”. Besides Arabic and French, she is also fluent in English and Portuguese.

Her research interests include violence against women, gender equality and power relations, women and Islam, and women in the media world in Arab Muslim societies. More specifically, her work brings a multidisciplinary perspective to the study of language use and gender issues. She is interested in the role of language and discourse in society and its power and unconscious control on people’s minds, attitudes and actions. She is also concerned about the relationship between the function of language and the impact of social, religious, political and sexual realities upon the lives of both women and men in the Moroccan society. She is currently working on a project that considers the phenomenon of sexual harassment in public spaces in Morocco, and the mental, verbal or physical violence that is carried out against Moroccan girls and women. The objective is to raise awareness about the unclear connection between the use of language and gender-based violence in Morocco, and to stimulate social change and critical thinking.