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In a recent event at the Center, 5 women activists and practitioners from the Middle East and North Africa discussed the challenges to women’s security in MENA countries during the post-Arab Spring period. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh stressed the importance of supporting the specific needs and security of women in the region, which she and others see as deteriorating since the uprisings. Women are not participating in the drafting of new constitutions and political violence against them is increasing. Abu Ghazaleh noted that although 20 out of 22 Arab countries have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), most of them imposed reservations on the elements that contradicted either Shari or existing national laws. We spoke with her to gain further insight into the current situation and where the trends are headed.


Haifa Abu Ghazaleh

Special Representative to Civil Society for the League of Arab States Secretary General
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Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more