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Enheduanna is the world’s first woman poet and author from the 23rd century BC. The daughter of the King of Akkad, a central city in Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq, she has been identified by world historians as the world’s first ‘named author.’ This blog is appropriately named after Enheduanna as her legacy inspires diverse women contributors from the Middle East to voice their thoughts and express their ideas about the state of women in their countries and their often ignored yet important work to advance women’s issues across the region.

The blog is a publication run by the Middle East Women’s Initiative (MEWI) at the Wilson Center. This initiatives builds on the work of the Middle East Program, the Haleh Esfandiari Forum and the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative in promoting the empowerment of women in the region. 

For International Women’s Day 2019, the Middle East Women’s Initiative invited women leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa region, working in the public, private or civil society sectors, to contribute to this blog. They were asked to describe the current challenges for women’s leadership in their country and present any progress made as well as the opportunities for sustainable change.

About the Author

Merissa Khurma

Merissa Khurma

Project Manager, Middle East Special Initiatives
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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