International Women’s Forum in Fez. June 2013


I S I S  C E N T E R  F O R  WOME N  A N D  D E V E L O P ME N T

International Forum: Mediterranean Womens’s Rights in the

Aftermath of the ‘Arab Uprisings’

Date : June 21-23, 2013

Venue : Palais des Congrès, Fez, Morocco


Conference languages: Arabic, French, English (simultaneous translation provided)

Women’s rights in the south of the Mediterranean have been on the rise with ups and downs. There seems to be a backlash on these rights after the Arab uprisings. In reflecting on women’s rights two years after the uprisings, many paradoxes come to mind. On the one hand, we have witnessed a spectacular presence of women of all ages, ideologies, ethnicities and social statuses during the political mobilization of the uprisings (as has been well documented by the media). Yet, on the other hand, and here is the first paradox, in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Kuwait, the newly elected governments have a very weak, if not at zero, representation of women. Furthermore, the political Islamization of the MENA region is a fact (with the adjectives “moderate” and “salafist” added according to the Islamic dose involved). However, and here is the second paradox, what most advocates of women’s rights (scholars and activists) had scored through decades were also “Islamic” gains. Women’s rights advocates in the region fought to improve, not replace, Sharia laws and they have targeted patriarchy, not Islam. These two paradoxes call for serious debate and action. The goal of the forum is to discuss the new challenges facing academics, activists and politicians.

ISIS Center for Women and Development

Friday, June 21

9: 00 h Opening and Welcome

10: 00 h Keynote Speech

Revolutions, Democratic Transitions, and Women’s Rights: The Arab

Spring in Comparative Perspective

Valentine MOGHADAM, Director, Program of International Affairs,

Northeastern University, Boston, USA

10: 00h Reception

Panel I: Equality of Sexes in the New Constitutions

Chair: Moha ENNAJI, Author and Researcher, President, international Institute for

Languages and Cultures (INLAC), Fez

11: 00 h The New Egyptian Constitution After the Revolution: Gender Equality and

Non-Discrimination (in Arabic)

Moushira KHATTAB, former Egyptian Ambassador to South Africa,

former Minister for Family and Population, Egypt

11: 20 h Gender Equality in the Tunisian Constitution (in French)

Lilia LABIDI, former Minister for Women’s Affairs, Tunisia

11:40 The “Arab Spring”: Between Reality and Imagination (in Arabic)

Ramziyah ELARYANI, Secretary General, Arab Union of Women,

President, Yemeni Women Union

12: 00 h Discussion

12: 30 h Lunch break

Panel II: Women’s Rights after the Arab Revolutions

Chair: Mino VIANELLO, Professor Emeritus of Economic Sociology, University of

Rome / Columbia University “Seminars”, New York, USA

15: 00 h Women’s Rights after the Arab Revolutions (in Arabic)

Islah JAD, University of Birzeit, Palestine

15: 20 h What About Maghrebian Women’s Rights after the “Arab Spring”?

Moha ENNAJI, Author and Researcher, President, International Institute

for Languages and Cultures (INLAC), Fez

15: 40 h Revolutionary Narratives: Nawal El Saadawi and Samar Yazbek

miriam cooke, Duke University, North Carolina, USA

16: 00 h Discussion

16: 30 h Coffee break

Panel III: Women’s Rights and Islam

Chair: Ellen MCLARNEY, Duke University, USA

16: 45 h Women in Limbo: on Liminal Citizenship and the Quest for Equality

Soumia BOUTKHIL, Director, Master Program “Gender, Society, &

Human Development”, Mohamed I University, Oujda, Morocco

17: 05 h The Moral Permissibility of Unveiling

Soroush DABBAGH, University of Toronto, Canada

17: 25 h Women’s Rights, Islam, and the Stakes of Moroccan Secularity

Jonathan WYRTZEN, Al-Akhawayne University, Ifrane / Yale University,


17: 45 h Discussion

18: 15 h Presentation of the anthology Des Femmes Ecrivent L’Afrique.

Afrique du Nord(Women Writing Africa – The Northern Region

(published by Karthala (Paris) and directed by Fatima Sadiqi, Amira

Nouaira, Azza El Khouly, Moha Ennaji)

Christiane OWUSU-SARPONG, Associate Professor, KNUST, Kumasi,

Ghana, Ethno-linguiste, Translator, Strasbourg, France

Fatima SADIQI, Editor

Moha ENNAJI, Editor

Khadija ZIZI, Associate Editor, cover designer

Ali OUAHIDI, Associate Editor

Zakia IRAQUI-SINACEUR, Associate Editor

Fatima-Zahra ALAOUI, Journalist, Poet, Fez (Readings)



Saturday, June 22

Panerl IV : Gender and Power / Women and Politcial Participation

Chair: Nathalie PILHES, Secretary General, Inter-Ministerial Mission, Mediterranean

Union, Paris, France

9: 00 h Women and Power in Political Life

Mino VIANELLO, Professor Emeritus of Economic Sociology, University

of Rome / Columbia University “Seminars”, New York, USA

9: 20 h All that Glitters is not Gold : Two Decades of Gender Politics in Turkey

Ayşe GÜNEŞ-AYATA, Chairperson, Centre for Black Sea and Central

Asia, Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey

9:40 h Women and Political Representation in the Maghrib

Rachid TLEMCANI, University og Algiers, Algeria

10: 00 h Discussion

10:30 h Coffee break

Panel V: Feminist Discourses in the Region / The Issue Of Reference

Chair: Soumia BOUTKHIL, Director, Master Program “Gender, Society, & Human

Development”, Mohamed I University, Oujda, Morocco

10: 45 h Women and Islamic Reference : A Reformist Vision (in French)

Asma LAMRABET, Biologist Doctor, Coordinator, Research group on

Muslim women and Intercultural Dialogue, Rabat, Morocco

11: 05 h What Frame(s) of Reference for Gender Equality in Countries of Muslim

Majority? The Moroccan Experience (in French)

Nouzha GUESSOUS, Professor of Medicine, Hassan II University,

Casablanca – Activist and Researcher in Human Rights and bioethics. Ex

membre of the Consultative Commission of the Moudawana Reform

11: 25 h Moroccan Feminist Discourses after the “Arab” Uprisings – The Berber (Amazigh) Dimension

Fatima SADIQI, Author and Researcher, President, ISIS Center for

Women and Development

11: 45 h Discussion

12: 15 h Lunch

ISIS Center for Women and Development

Panel VI: Women and Economic Empowerment

Chair: Souad SLAOUI, President, Center for Studies and Research on Women, Sidi

Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez

15: 00 h Women and Economic Empowerment (in Arabic)

Randa MASRI, Director, Connect Middle East, Washington D.C., USA

15: 20 h Factors Influencing Working Women, Non-Working Women, and the

Employer in Jordan (in Arabic)

Amal EL KHAROUF, Director, Division of Research and Training,

Amman, Jordan

15: 40 h For a Sustainable Economic Empowerment: The Case of the local

enterprise ANAROUZ

Manal ELATTIR (Founder & CEO, ANAROUZ) and Yamina EL KIRAT EL

ALLAM, (Mohamed V University, Rabat-Agdal, Morocco)

16: 00 h Discussion

16: 30 h Coffee break

Panel VII: Women and Cultural Empowerment

Chair: Katja Zvan Elliot, Al Aklhawayne University, Ifrane

16: 45 h Moroccan Women’s Cultural Rights: a Psychosocial Perspective

Rachida KERKECH, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Rabat, Morocco

17: 05 h Gender and Cultural Rights in Mauritania (in French)

Madina TOURÉ, University of Nouakchott, Mauritania

17: 25 h Civil Marriage in Lebanon

Myriam SFEIR, Institute of Women Studies in the Arab World, Managing

Editor, “Al-Raida” Journal, Beirut, Lebanon

17: 45 h An example from The Netherlands – The Struggle Still Exists on the Local


Hester TJALMA, Director, Association for Local and Regional Councillors

of the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

18: 05 h Discussion


Sunday, June 23

Panel VIII: Women’s Rights and Public and Individual Freedoms

Chair: Touria KHANNOUS, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

09: 00 h Moroccan Women and Individual Freedoms

Abdellatif ZAKI, Agronomic and Veterinary Institute, Rabat, Morocco

09: 20 h Women After the Egyptian Revolution: Struggle, Violations and Political

Participation (in Arabic)

Yahia MUHAMMAD ZAED, Human Rights Activist, Egypt

09 : 40 h Individual Freedoms as an Entry to the Reform of Justice (in French)

Asma EL MEHDI, President, Initiatives for the Protection of Women’s

Rights-IPDF, Fez

10: 00 h Libyan Women: From Revolution to Politics (in Arabic)

Sayf-Al-Islam AL-HANGARY, activist, Libya

10 : 20 h Discussion

10: 50 h Coffee break

Panel IX: Women, Media and International Networking

Chair: Zakia IRAQUI-SINACEUR, Mohamed V Souissi University, Rabat, Morocco

11: 00 h Women and Public Service Television Contents: A Quantitative Analysis

Bouziane ZAID, Al-Akhawayne University, Ifrane, Morocco

11: 20 h Women and International Networking (in French)

Simone SUSSKIND, Free University, Brussels, Belgium

11: 40 h Mediterranean Women as Partners of Political and Social Change

Sarah FEINGOLD, University of New York, USA

12:00 h Discussion

12: 30 h Recommendations and Closing Remarks

Chair: Fatima SADIQI


Book exhibit : Librairie populaire – Fez

Le Fennec – Casablanca

Paintings exhibit: Khadija ZIZI, Professor, Institut Supérieur de l’Information et

de la Communication / Painter, Rabat

Khadija MADANI ALAOUI, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez

Women’s products exhibit: ESPOD Association, Fez

Rajae SLAOUI-HAMMOUDA, President

Contact: Prof. Dr. Fatima Sadiqi (ISIS), Academic Director

Dr. Ellinor Zeino-Mahmalat (KAS), Logistics Director, ellinor.zeino

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