Women’s rights in jeopardy after the “Arab Spring” (19 & 20 Nov 2012)

Mon, 11/19/2012

The Collective for Research and Training on Development – Action organized a regional meeting on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 November 2012 in order to critically review the development witnessed in the different countries of the region in the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring and especially at the level of impact on women’s economic rights and empowerment.  The 46 participants from Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia discussed various collective initiatives seeking to reinforce women’s social, political and economic participation especially at the level of decision making.  


Participants particularly discussed the current changes especially at the level of new opportunities and threats to women’s economic participation with a focus on unpacking the differences between women’s formal, informal and care work.  Participants were able to identify similar approaches as well as innovative strategies for measuring all forms of women’s economic contributions as well as visibilising all forms of women’s work.


The workshop was concluded with a Press Conference during which a press release was shared warning against the poor media coverage of the impact of the coming to power of conservative religious groups and the increasing calls for women to return to the confines of the private sphere and to only attend to their roles as mothers and carers. Participants announced during the press conference that they will be launching collective regional advocacy initiatives aiming at highlighting the role and position of women and their contributions in the informal and care sector as well as women’s unpaid and invisible work including women’s seasonal and household work.


In conclusion, participants noted that whilst women bore the brunt of earlier dictatorships, they are now struggling to maintain the gains of the past era amidst increasing conservatism, neo-liberal economic policies, further privatization of the public sector and infrastructure.  Participants noted that current conservative regimes are jeopardizing women’s rights and earlier gains as well as undermining existing international instruments, such as CEDAW hence the need for stepping up collective regional and international work.


To view the complete press release, please click on the following link: http://crtda.org.lb/webfm_send/33