Gender Equality in the MENA Region - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Gender Equality in the MENA Region

October 24,2015
Cairo, Egypt

ERF held a conference on women’s social and economic empowerment in the Arab World on October 24-25, 2015, in Cairo, Egypt. The event, hosted in cooperation with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), was intended to contribute to ending the significant political and economic disadvantages women in the region face. Over six sessions and a panel discussion, key international experts, regional academics, policy leaders and the media discussed and debated ways to overcome the main obstacles preventing the full participation of women in the region. Topics included ways to narrow down the gender gap and discrimination against women; women’s empowerment within the household and in the labor market; women entrepreneurship; gender and social protection policies, and stereotypes surrounding the relationship between gender, religion and politics.

From the policy leaders’ side, the conference featured former Egyptian Minister of Family and Population Moushira Khattab, former Egyptian Parliamentarian Mona Makram-Ebeid, and Egypt’s Director of the Karama and Takaful programs Nevine Kabbage.

International experts who spoke at the conference included Arjan De Haan (International Development Research Center), Maria Floro (American University), Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont), Suzan Joekes (London School of Economics) Zafiris Tzannatos (Senior Consultant for Strategy and Policy). Nicola A Jones, (Overseas Development Institute), Aili M. Tripp, (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Caren Grown, (World Bank).

From the region, the conference hosted Ragui Assaad (University of Minnesota), Fatma El-Hamidi (Pittsburgh University) Hania Sholkamy (American University in Cairo), Amel Grami (University of Tunis), Rana Hendy (Economic Research Forum), Hadi Esfahani (University of Illinois), and Mahmoud El Gamal, (Rice University).

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