Activists are using social media to do what Arab countries have failed to do: teach women about their bodies. They are aiming for nothing less than a cultural awakening.

When Nour Emam decided to devote herself to educating Arab women about their bodies, the subject was so taboo that one of her first challenges was figuring out how to pronounce the word “clitoris” in Arabic, the New York Times reports.

“I had never heard it,” said Ms. Emam, 29, a women’s health activist from Cairo. “No one uses it, so there’s nowhere to find the right way to say it.”

After careful research, now she knows, and so do her hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, where she hosts one of the leading platforms for sex education in the Arab world.

With formal schooling on sexuality minimal to nonexistent in much of the Middle East, and a patriarchal culture that has left many Arab women ignorant and ashamed of their own bodies, Ms. Emam and a growing number of activists have built online platforms to try to fill the gap.

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