Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Despite the growing feminist movement across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the region continues to face varying levels of political uncertainty, cross-border insecurities, and failure of the rule of law. Many of these challenges are a result of the authoritarian regimes, occupations, and conflicts that followed peaceful uprisings demanding change in the region, which began in 2011.
Under these circumstances, women – who stand at the frontline of the movement for peace, justice, and human rights – encounter multifaceted barriers to meaningful participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and post-conflict transition.
Moreover, violence in all its forms, including gender-based and sexual violence, threatens women’s safety and security now more than ever. Violence impacting the lives and livelihoods of women is perpetuated by militarisation, increased defense spending, and the global arms trade – all of which violate human rights and create human insecurity across the region.
WILPF in MENA
WILPF has been present in the Middle East and North Africa region for over 50 years. Our work in the region deepened significantly in 2011 as women’s groups began playing an increasingly central role in demanding peace in the midst of unprecedented political events.
WILPF is standing firm beside women from the Middle East and North Africa who are defining, defending, and developing a space for the advancement of feminist peace and a future of equality, justice, and demilitarised security in the region.
Our work in MENA is focused on bringing together women’s rights activists and organisations from across the region to work for peace by non-violent means.
We are also committed to promoting political, economic, and social justice by resourcing the feminist movement, and by leveraging cross-conflict learnings, advocacy, feminist analysis of conflict, and feminist knowledge production in Arabic.
Partners in MENA
WILPF’s partners in MENA comprise a group of civil society organisations and a wider network of activists and organisations that WILPF thinks and collaborates with, learns from, and provides support to.
WILPF currently has ongoing engagement in the seven MENA countries of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen, in addition to an active network of activists and organisations with whom we continue to engage and exchange experiences.
Political is Personal – A dialogue from and to the region
The Arabic podcast series “Political Is Personal” seeks to highlight the work done by both feminists and feminist organisations in the MENA region. We want to amplify their messages, while shedding light on important issues relevant to feminist peace from a gender-sensitive perspective.
Projects in MENA
The Correlation between the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Iraq and Rates of Violence Against Women