Women, Power and Politics in the Middle East

Middle East USA World

Date and time: July 22, 2020, 1 pm British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Watch on Facebook Live.


  • Alanoud Alsharekh, director, Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy
  • Laury Haytayan, Middle East and North Africa director, Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Azadeh Pourzand, executive director, Siamak Pourzand Foundation
  • Moderator: Tim Eaton, senior research fellow, Middle East and North Africa Program, Chatham House

In 2019, the visibility and participation of women in protests across the Middle East and North Africa challenged male-led political establishments in the region. But with the global health crisis offering regimes some respite from popular mobilization in the streets, and impacting participation in public life, the fragile gains made by women in the region are in danger of being lost.

In this webinar, the panelists will discuss female leadership and women’s rights in a COVID-affected MENA region. Set against difficult political transitions, declining oil prices and protracted regional conflicts, how can women’s economic empowerment be prioritized and promoted in the region? To what extent have efforts to consolidate women’s rights so far reached beyond elites and addressed different women’s experiences in the private and public spheres? How can we move beyond the glamorization of female protesters to institute meaningful gender-focused political change in the future? And as COVID-19 accelerates digital transformation, do virtual spaces provide new opportunities for mobilization and inclusion in politics, business, media and civil society? Or do they extend and perpetuate offline inequalities and violence against women?

This event is for Chatham House members. Followers of the Middle East and North Africa Program will be able to watch the event live on our Facebook page.

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