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Arab women after a decade of transformations

April 24, 20177:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In English with simultaneous translation.

Casa Árabe has organized this public conference as part of the International Forum on “A decade of transformations in the Arab world.” With Madawi al-Rasheed, Fatemah Farag and Hibaaq Osman.

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a series of transformations in the Arab world, taking place in societies which asked for democracy while clamoring for freedom and dignity. However, Arab women continue to fall victim to discrimination, violence and the violation of their rights. There is evidence of this in the annual reports by the most important world organizations published since the 1980’s, with indicators ranking the Arab countries at the bottom in terms of gender development, measures for the empowerment and gender equality, furthering women’s role in science, women’s activity in the economy and labor market, and women’s participation in political life, as well as other indicators.

This conference, which forms part of the international forum “A decade of transformation in the Arab world,” includes the participation of three experts who will discuss the many challenges ahead to be faced by Arab women, from different perspectives: Madawi al-Rasheed, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics (LSE) Middle East Centre; Fatemah Farag, a journalist and the founder and director of Welad Elbalad Media Services LTD, and Hibaaq Osman, the founder of al-Karama and a member of several organizations which specialize in gender-based and feminist studies.
Arab women after a decade of transformations
Photo: Karim Hauser
Madawi Al-Rasheed is a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre of the London School of Economics (LSE). Prior to that, she was a professor of Social Anthropology at King’s College in London and a visiting professor at the Middle East Institute of Singapore’s National University. Her research focuses on history, society, religion and politics in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, Christian minorities from the Middle East in Great Britain, Arab migration, Islamist movements, State and gender relations, and Islamic modernism. Her publications include An Arabian Oasis (I.B. Tauris 1991), (Palgrave 2004), Dying for Faith: Religiously Motivated Violence in the Contemporary World (I.B. Tauris, 2009),  Demystifying the Caliphate (Hurst, 2012),  A Masculine State, Gender, Politics and Religion in Saudi Arabia (CUP, 2013) and Muted Modernists: the Struggle over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia (Hurst, 2015).

Fatemah Farag is the founder and director of Welad Elbalad Media Services LTD, a company devoted to the development of community-based media and media excellence in Egypt. She is also a Nieman Fellow at the Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the MENA Director for the WAN IFRA Program of Women in the News and a board member of the World Editors Forum (WEF). Before that, she was the head writer and founder of the English edition of the newspaper Al Masry Al Youm and divided her career between writing and the journalism of training and education. Before working at the Regional Office of the Washington Post, she was the assistant editor-in-chief at Al-Ahram Weekly. As an educator, she has provided training at several organizations, including the European Union, the British Council, the Library of Alexandria and the American University of Cairo.

Hibaaq Osman is the founder of Karama, an organization that has worked for more than 12 years to put an end to violence against women and promote sustainable, inclusive peace and democracy in the Arab region. Karama’s guiding principle is to ensure that the strategies which affect women in the region respond not only to the needs of women in the real world, but also for them to be managed by women and become true representatives of the community. The goal is to place women in the Arab region at the core of the humanitarian response, to prevent and resolve conflicts and to promote women’s participation in public life. Named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world, Hibaaq formerly served as a member of the Advisory Group of the UN Global Civil Society and is currently on the board of Donor Direct Action