The 1st Event of the Feminist Circle Series Season Two
Dress Code and Bodily Agency
Women and girls in the MENA region continue to be the subject of control in what relates to their dress choices, bodily agency and all other matters related to their personal choices.This circle will provide a safe space for young women and trans folks to discuss the complex and multi-layered issue of dress code what kind of mobilization and interventions are needed to overcome societal often brutal expectations of what constitute “accepted dress code”.The outcome of this conversation will feed the process of creating a MENA campaign on liberating all women and girls from the tyranny of dress code.
Roula Baghdadi - Dawlaty. محامية وباحثة قانونية في قضايا المرأة والمديرة التنفيذية لمنظمة دولتي.
Rafah Anabtawi. Rafah is the General Director of Kayan Feminist Organization in Haifa, which works to advance Palestinian women’s status and end gender-based discrimination. Rafah has been a social and feminist activist for over 20 years. She holds a BA and MA in Social Work and community organizing. Rafah began her career at Kayan as the Community Organizing Coordinator in 2006 and has now been its director for over seven years. As the director of Kayan, Rafah spearheads a grassroots approach to social change by consolidating a national Arab Palestinian feminist movement that promotes and defends women’s rights and ensures women’s integration into all aspects of the public sphere. Rafah has participated in several prestigious leadership programs, including the Fellowship Programme of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Ilaf Nasr - AMNA
Maya El Helou. Maya is a Ph.D. candidate at the anthropology department at the University of Toronto. Her work investigates the everyday life of feminist resistance movements in Beirut, Lebanon. Her research interests focus on gender, sexuality, affect, spatiotemporality, revolutions, embodiment, life and death, and everything in-between. Maya El Helou is also a comic artist who uses illustrated ethnographic methods to portray that which is beyond words.
Joudy Eter - Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship
Fatima Amro. Fatima is a physics and political science graduate from the American university of Beirut. She is particularly interested in research related to geopolitics and political economy. As a research assistant, she is currently conducting research on gender and politics and women empowerment.
Moderated by Sara Abou Zaki. Sara is a Public Health practitioner and researcher and is currently the Acting Director and Program Manager at Marsa Sexual Health Center. Sara is an avid advocate for the decentralization of healthcare and equitable access to sexual and reproductive health particularly for girls, women and members of the LGBTIQ community.
The UN IVth Conference of Women (Beijing, 1995) has been a turning point globally in setting a framework and tangible parameters for gender equality worldwide. It was also a unique space where some 35000 from around the world gathered to make their voices heard. Despite significant advances however, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination, oppression and violence under patriarchal laws and systems. In this 90-minute discussion, four leading feminist scholar-activists from India, Morocco, Lebanon, and the United States who have been intimately involved in the struggle for gender equality since and also before Beijing 1995 will discuss what has changed and how and where do they see the feminist struggles for the future. The conversation will be moderated by Alison Freeland.
Funding Feminist Movements in the MENA: Analyzing the Current Ecosystem
Monday July 26th from 3:00 to 4:30pm Beirut time Join Zoom event https://zoom.us/j/91865436040
The mobilization of resources continues to be a formidable obstacle that feminist movements face. Research conducted by AWID showed that despite new funding commitments made, women’s rights organizations receive only 0.13% of the total Official Development Assistance and only 0.4% of all gender-related aid. This circle will bring together feminist funds to discuss joint action and collaboration which seek to address the endemic issue of funding feminist movements and activism globally and in the MENA region. It will also discuss the outcome and implications of the Generation Equality Forum which just took place in Paris in early June.
Co-moderators: • Lina Abou-Habib (Asfari) • Rita Halawani (Asfari intern). Speakers • Mozn Hassan, Doria Feminist Fund • Hadeel Qazzaz. Oxfam • Kasia Staszewska, AWID • Fawzia Baba-Aissa, Mediterranean Women's Fund • Zakaria Nasser. • Lama al Khateeb, OSF, Jordan
The Asfari Institute at the American University of Beirut Oxfam Marsa for Sexual Health Feminist Circles Series Announcement
SAVE THE DATES!
The Asfari Institute, Oxfam and Marsa for Sexual Health are pleased to announce the launch of the first collaborative feminist circles series. This virtual series seeks to engage feminist activists, international organizations, and scholars in dialogue and discussions around contemporary feminist activism issues whilst at the same time reflecting over potential feasible solutions. In addition, we will use the learning from these circles to design accessible knowledge, communication and publication products which seek to contribute to furthering the outreach of the feminist circles as well as provide useful tools to activists on the ground. The virtual series is open to interested audiences while ensuring that the space is conducive for reflection, as well as safe and secure.
OPEN EVENTS Timetable and program of the first feminist circles series
Mental Health as a feminist issue Monday July 5 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm Beirut time
Women’s experiences and modes of expression are often described as “dramatic,” “irrational,” or “emotional” in an attempt to silence women’s voices and undermine their life experiences. In the Gender and Mental Health report conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), women have a high mental health diagnosis rate and that is likely to be heightened by various forms of oppression, imposed gender norms, and experiences of discrimination and violence. This discussion aims to shed light on mental health from a feminist lens and looking at the important aspects of solidarity, self-care, healing processes and safety.
Funding feminist movements in the MENA: Analyzing the currentecosystem Monday June 28th from 3:00 to 4:30 pm Beirut time
The mobilization of resources continues to be a formidable obstacle that feminist movements face. Research conducted by AWID showed that despite new funding commitments made, women’s rights organizations receive only 0.13% of the total Official Development Assistance and only 0.4% of all gender-related aid. This circle will bring together feminist funds to discuss joint action and collaboration which seek to address the endemic issue of funding feminist movements and activism globally and in the MENA region.
Post-pandemic Feminism: How has the pandemic contributed to transforming the feminist movement Monday, June 21st from 3:00 to 4:30 pm Beirut time
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed life as we know it, but more perilously increased the risk of gender-based violence (GBV), gender inequalities, oppression, and discrimination in addition to amplifying women’s care burden. In an article recently published by the Guardian, the COVID-19 pandemic has been described as an outbreak of disaster patriarchy, where the crisis is exploited to reassert patriarchal control and dominance, and rapidly erase hard-earned rights. Patriarchy has taken full advantage of the virus to reclaim power, as well as escalate the danger and violence against all women and non-binary. This discussion will shed light on the strategies that feminist movements have adapted to strengthen their activism in times of crisis and the absence or inadequacy of state assistance, the lessons learnt from the pandemic, and what strategies to be adopted in the post-pandemic world.
From the Arab Spring to the new round of uprisings, young intersectional feminists within the revolutions have played a major role in framing the struggles and shaping the narrative of the movement through the power of young voices. According to a report by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), the regional average for women’s representation in parliament has increased since the beginning of the Arab Spring, thus indicating some shift at least at the level of women's participation in decision making. In some countries, progress has come in leaps and bounds, while in others through incremental steps. This discussion will focus on the feminist narratives that evolved during and post-revolutions, the role that young feminists play to reclaim the public sphere, and the ways in which the boundaries have been pushed.
Mozn Hassan, Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies
Maya El Ammar, Feminist Journalist
Banan AbuZainEddine, Executive Director & Co-founder of Takatoat
Montaha Nottah, Research Intern at Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship
Saja Akmail, Volunteer at Takatoat
Moderated by Carla Akil, Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship
Overview: The webinar will discuss how the discourse on gender-based violence in the Arab World has been changing with the youth. It will highlight the changes in activism as well as the increase in expression and decrease in tolerance of violence against women. Finally, it will explore the best way forward in tackling gender-based violence within the context of Arab World.
Agenda: Round 1: Setting the scene
What are the current key concerns and issues related to gender-based violence in the Arab world?
Gender-based violence has always been an issue. Why and how did it become a public issue?
What are the processes that have led women to speak out?
Round 2: GBV mobilizations
What is currently being done to fight gender-based violence? Are there any new forms of mobilizations?
What are the drawbacks of mobilizing against gender-based violence?
How is the patriarchy used to silence women when it comes to gender-based violence?
Round 3: Looking forward
What do we want as youth? Do we want punishment, acknowledgment, safety and security, changing laws or mindsets?
What is the best way forward in tackling gender-based violence?
Gender-based violence is mainly being tackled in the public sphere. How can we extend mobilizations to the private sphere?
The round table will begin with a keynote address by AUB’s FAS Dean Nadia El Cheikh followed by a partial screening of Carol Mansour’s documentary “Nehna Mou Heik” https://vimeo.com/81968642
Program of the roundtable:
Keynote address II Dean Nadia El Cheikh, AUB FAS Film Viewing II Nehna Mou Heik II Carol Mansour, Film Director Roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Muna Khalidi, Forward Productions with: Rola el Rokbi II Director, Women Now for Development Sabah el Hallak II Director, Moubadarat al Mouwatana Carol Mansour II Film Director, Forward Productions Final remarks II Dr. Nadia El Cheikh and Carol Mansour