An Arabic hashtag that translates to "what do you think of the woman who smokes shisha?" sparked an online debate across the Arab world about gender inequality and equality as it trended on Twitter in Egypt and many other Arab countries with more than 90,000 tweets this week.

Although nargileh, or shisha, is popular among both men and women, smoking has always drawn criticism toward the women who partake.

Even though smoking the popular water pipe has a variety of health risks including exposure to toxic chemicals and infectious diseases, it is often considered socially acceptable in Arab societies for men to indulge in.

The hashtag, which emerged at the end of Ramadan when cafes in Egypt and other Arab countries fill up with smokers at night after abstaining from tobacco during the day, explored the reasons behind judging women who smoke shisha as it developed into an online conversation about gender issues and equality.

Some suggested that it is immoral or indecent for a woman to smok.

Others acknowledged that women were free to smoke and that they have the right to do so but wrote that they disrespect those women and wouldn't consider them when choosing a partner.

However, many women and men defended women who smoke and others pointed out the deep-seated gender issues behind the Twitter hashtag and the arguments that were being used.

Counter hashtags were launched in response to clarify the gender arguments. Some wrote that there probably wouldn't be a trending hashtag that says "What do you think of the man who smokes shisha?" or "What do you think of the woman and the man who smoke shisha?" reflecting the standing double standard in societies.

While many expressed anger and frustration with the trending topic, some women and men took the matter into a lighter direction as they used humor and sarcasm to engage in the gender conversation.

This is not the first time that this topic was brought up on Twitter, as it trended before in May. This hashtag, like many others, shows how social media continues to prove to be a battleground for expressing opposing views on varying social issues not just in the Arab world, but across the globe.