Participants of MENA workshop stand together as a group

May 04, 2023Gender, Law, and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Participants from more than a dozen countries convened for a workshop on Gender, Law, and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

On May 3, 2023, the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School hosted a full-day workshop on Gender, Law, and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), featuring cutting-edge research on the subject, with 17 participants representing 13 different academic institutions from across the United States, as well as Europe and the Middle East.

The workshop presented an opportunity for senior and junior scholars in the fields of law, political science, anthropology, gender studies, and Middle East studies to present their work in progress and receive valuable input and feedback. Presentations were divided into three panels.

The first broadly addressed research on “Feminist and Women’s Movements in the MENA,” analyzing grassroots mobilization on women’s issues in the region. The second panel focused on “Women’s Rights and the Law in the MENA,” featuring research on dynamics of legal reforms and their challenges. The third panel, titled, “Gender and the (Non-Democratic) State,” explored the interaction between state level politics and policies, international developments, and bottom-up efforts around women’s rights in non-democratic political contexts.

Three current Visiting Fellows of the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World – Lihi Ben Shitirt, Marwa Sharafeldin, and Fatima Essop – who all work at the intersection of law and gender, organized the workshop, with guidance and support from Faculty Director Kristen Stilt, Associate Director Salma Waheedi, and Program Administrator Ceallaigh Reddy.

Workshop Participants

Rawia Aburabia

Sapir College

Rethinking Cross Border Marriages: The Israeli/Palestinian Case


Hind Ahmed Zaki

University of Connecticut

Veiled Transgressions: Transitional Justice, National Memory, and Women’s Rights in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia


Nadje Al-Ali

Brown University

Nermine Allam

Rutgers University

The Afterlife of the Egyptian Uprising

Lihi Ben Shitrit

University of Georgia and Harvard Law School

Bedouin Feminism in the Negev

Gamze Cavdar

Colorado State University

Anti-genderism as an Authoritarian Tool

Sarah Ihmoud

College of the Holy Cross

Palestinian Feminism in Occupied Jerusalem

Vickie Langohr

College of the Holy Cross

Anti-Public Sexual Harassment Movement in Egypt post-2011

Anwar Mhajne

Stonehill College

Instagram/Social Media as a Site for Sociopolitical Contestation and Regulation for Palestinian Women in Israel

Yuree Noh

Rhode Island College

Public Opinion and Women’s Rights

Asia Parker

University of Georgia

Marwa Sharafeldin

Harvard Law School

Islamic Law Meets Human Rights: Egyptian Women’s Rights NGOs Advocating for Muslim Family Law Reform

Mona Tajali

Agnes Scott College

Institutionalization of Women’s Rights in the MENA: Case Studies of Iran and Afghanistan