Women in the Arabian Gulf today, are taking central stage in representing and occasionally spearheading the ongoing process of “nation”-state-building, as well as they contribute to the dynamic reorientation of the large-scale state-modernizing projects across the Gulf. While the current advancement of women in the region is transcending beyond the existing political, professional and leadership stage of women empowerment, their symbolic presence is now rapidly moving towards new unprecedented and “unimagined” spaces, specifically for these women as Arab and Muslim from the Gulf. Until very recently, for example, the Gulf states were the bastion of conservatism but now are parting with its traditional reading of gender roles. Conversely, women’s representation in the public across the Gulf—as strategically 2 framed by the local Gulf officials and media—is also now transforming, formulating women’s embedded positionality and image as part of a broader state agency agenda. More particularly, the state is rapidly yet cautiously advancing women’s multiple roles in all aspects of its diverse tapestry: young leaders, soldiers, educators, sportswomen, fighters, pilots, and “Spartan” mothers (mothers of the young soldiers of the nation). Therefore, women in the Gulf are symbolically emerging as the new ideological “instruments” of the state-led campaign to construct the multilayered vision of the nation-state building agendas and potentially to contribute to this construction and its direction. The workshop broadly examines the new state-sponsored policies, initiatives, regulations and projects aiming to enhance the public roles, positions, and representations of women in the Gulf in diverse fields, including politics, education, art, economy, army, culture or natural sciences. This workshop additionally aims to explore and synthesize the evolving features, dimensions, and types of female agency by empirically and theoretically looking at grassroots emancipatory activism in the Gulf. By dissecting these processes from a comparative perspective, this workshop intends to uncover complex and multiple interconnectivities and divergences between the two and to explore the implications in the approach towards female empowerment in Gulf states, as well as the dynamic state behaviors in attempting to capitalize on these outcomes.