The Legacy of Protests in the MENA Region on Gender Issues | (dot)gender
(dot)gender | A space by LORENA STELLA MARTINI
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the protest movements that back in 2011 started to shake many countries in the MENA region, some of which are still dealing today with uprisings and calls for socio-political and economic renewal. In spite of their heterogenous development, outcome and timing, there is general agreement that the uprisings have unleashed new sociopolitical dynamics and energies within civil societies in the area.
In this framework, we have deemed it essential to look into these phenomena also from a gender perspective: how have gender issues evolved throughout the last decade and what is the legacy of the above-mentioned protest movements on this matter? Have the uprisings even partially paved the way for an increased public role of women, or for an enhanced dialogue on patriarchy, gender rights and sexuality?
In order to find the answers to these questions in the framework of four different countries in the MENA region – Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey –, TheSquare organized the webinar “Protests and gender issues: the experiences of Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt”, which was held on March 11th 2021.
The discussion was a chance to delve deep into each country scenario in order to understand how claims for women’s rights and gender equality have been represented in national squares, and how protests have differently contributed to carving a space for the gradual development of a sociocultural debate calling for progress in the domain of gender issues – even beyond the sole gender binarism. In this endeavor, retracing the development of feminism and feminist movement(s) throughout the last decades in the four different countries was key to better understand and interpret current dynamics, such as the emergence of new and diverse movements, claims and types of protests linked with gender issues and rights.
In case you missed it, you can re-watch the event here (in Italian):