Politicians, Experts and Academics Gather in Cairo to Examine the Way Forward for Women Post-revolution, from Electoral Processes to the Incomplete Revolutions

Posted on: April 27, 2012, by :

CAIRO – September 26, 2011, Over 30 politicians, experts and academics from the Arab world, Europe, and the U.S. will gather in Cairo at the end of the month for the fourth session of the Think Tank for Arab Women (TTfAW). Hosted by Karama and the Swedish Institute of Alexandria, the session, entitled From Electoral Processes to Incomplete Revolutions: Women and the Arab Revolts, Eight Months On, will examine the main obstacles to women’s equal participation in elections, including gender stereotypes, psychological and traditional barriers, and inequalities in education, training and resources from interdisciplinary perspectives. With a view to informing and shaping the views of emerging female political leaders, this session will also focus on the role of women in ongoing conflicts that have not yet resulted in full regime change.

The Arab revolutions have toppled governments from Tunis to Sana’a in 2011. In Egypt, Tunis, and Jordan, the focus has turned to the next phase: rebuilding the political landscape, planning elections, and reforming or rewriting existing constitutions. Meanwhile, in other areas
of the region, including Libya, Syria, and Yemen, conflict between state and anti-government protesters continues. Frustration with economic injustice, poverty, unemployment, political stagnation, human rights abuses and alienation from the government are at the heart of the
revolutions. As next steps are taken to guarantee the troublesome ways of old regimes are reformed, the future of the region remains uncertain.

Now more than ever, civil society must organize the research and analysis to provide recommendations and strategies for how to navigate the next phase of the Arab revolutions and ensure that women are not left behind. TTfAW will convene to discuss and analyze research informing strategies to ensure women’s political participation, protect women and assure their safety in areas of conflict, and identify local, regional and global partners, including the media and donors, to provide support for related initiatives. Among others, the fourth session will feature Arab academics from Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Libya, Palestine,Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Tunisia, as well as European Ambassadors Charlotta Sparre and Malin Kärre. The meeting will open with speeches by Founder and CEO of Karama, Hibaaq Osman, and Ambassador Stig Elmevar, Acting Director of the Swedish Institute of Alexandria.

The Think Tank for Arab Women is a unique research initiative founded in 2009 that brings together global and regional experts to analyze and share results of academic research on pressing issues affecting Arab women today. The fourth session will focus on two major themes: women, elections and electoral law in post-revolutionary political transitions, and the role of women in ongoing revolutionary struggles. Arab women from Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Palestine, Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and additional countries will participate as speakers, moderators, and analysts.The meeting will take place in Cairo from October 1 – 3.

Concept papers and presentations will later be shared through the TTfAW
website at www.thinktankforarabwomen.org.