Women and fieldwork in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

In the days when it was safe to take undergraduate fieldclasses to the MENA region (the Geography Department used to run fieldclasses to Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan), women students would always voice concerns about dress codes. Our advice was always based more on health and safety requirements rather than cultural issues. Not surprisingly, the two factors require that both sexes dress modestly. The requirement to cover as much skin surface as possible is, of course, common sense if you are going to be out working all day in subtropical sunshine. Loose-fitting and light cotton garments are ideal. Both men and women should avoid shorts, and exposed shoulders and necks, and heads must be covered at all times; sunstroke is intensely painful and debilitating. So, long trousers, long sleeved shirts with collars, a scarf or wide-brimmed hat to protect head and neck; the advice is exactly the same for both men and women. If you dress sensibly for the conditions, you will also meet the cultural expectations for almost all countries in the region.


Loose-fitting and light cotten clothes are ideal for these conditions

Loose-fitting and light cotton clothes are ideal for these conditions

A bit about today’s blogger:

Kevin White

Kevin White

Name:Dr Kevin White

Job Title:Associate Professor


  • Director of Postgraduate Studies (SAGES)
  • Undergraduate Teaching: Geographical Techniques, Monitoring the Earth from Space

Areas of Interest:

  • Dryland geomorphology, in particular fluvial & aeolian processes, weathering, soils and geochemistry.
  • Remote sensing, in particular processing of optical and radar data for studying environmental processes.

Research groups / Centres:Earth System Science Research Group