The Third Annual International Conference on MENA Studies

Event Serial65634
Event TypeConferences
Event Date from2019-03-20 to 2019-03-21
Event Categories
Location Kenitra, Morocco

Takamul Centre for Studies and Research, in partnership with Hanns Seidel
Foundation and the Research Laboratory for Multidisciplinary Studies at Ibn Tofail
University, Organizes
The Third Annual International Conference on MENA Studies Feminism in the MENA region: Women’s Rights in a Post-Globalist World
March 20-21, 2019
Ibn Tofail Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences- Kenitra, Morocco
The issue of women’s rights and gender equality has always been crucial in the process of democratization and social development. Changes in gender dynamics are often seen as a reliable indicator of political and social change, with the growing empowerment of women considered as an essential component of any effective and sustainable development policy.
It is fair to say that some significant advances have been achieved over recent years in the Middle East and North Africa thanks to the collective efforts of civil associations, women’s groups, and political parties, which have campaigned for gender equality. The reform of the family code or the ‘Moudawana’ in Morocco was, for instance, an important measure that signaled the readiness of public authorities to pass specific legislation designed to address gender inequality issues. However, civil associations and women’s groups still continue to mobilize to ensure that laws pertaining to the rights of women are properly and diligently enforced, or even extended. Other pending issues such as domestic and sexual violence, sexual harassment, and inheritance law, have also been raised and discussed, generating a heated but necessary debate, and underlining the belief among activists that further progress is needed and expected.
Feminism is one of the biggest social movements of this century and it involves various ideological, social and political beliefs. Women in the MENA region have made great strides in the fight for equality, they have been allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, granted equal inheritance rights in Tunisia and offered legal protection from “acts considered forms of harassment, aggression, sexual exploitation or ill treatment” in Morocco. Indeed, their situation seems to be much better in North Africa because of culture, the mainstream religious interpretations, the proximity to Europe, and also the colonial experiences. On the other hand, the process of liberation seems to be too lengthy in the Middle East due to cultural norms and tribal culture. However, women in North Africa continue to stare down great obstacles in the fight to achieve true gender equality as the pace of the reforms introduced by their governments just inaugurate a long journey to full equality.
Today the gender situation in the MENA countries is complex as legal provisions do not always apply to all and in all cases nor do they reflect the actual commitment of officials and ordinary citizens. While there is reliable evidence that men and women of all age groups are engaging with changing attitudes and practices, more conservative sections of society are also undermining, with more or less effectiveness, the dynamic towards social change and gender equality. Furthermore, popular perceptions of gender attitudes among people of the region as well as their sensitive character tend to make it more challenging to gauge such a process of change.
This conference aims to bring together researchers and academics to shed light on some of the practices that affect women’s status and share their insights into a range of issues relating to feminist perspectives on women’s lived experiences and the advocacy struggles initiated. By identifying emerging social trends and practices, and examining specific facets of gender relations, participants will contribute to a better understanding of this strategic area of social life.
Submission Guidelines
Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for individual papers. Submissions are due January 30, 2019. Paper abstracts must be no more than 300 words and submitted as a Microsoft Word or PDF file. The submission must include the title, the presenter’s name, affiliation, email address, as well as a short biography.

Please submit your abstracts to Review results will be communicated via E-Mail by February 10, 2019. All abstracts and all paper presentations must be in English. Please, do not hesitate to submit your inquiries to or to
– Thanks to the support of Hanns Seidel Foundation, Takamul Centre will provide the participants with accommodation and meals.
– Due to the big number of submissions we received last year, Takamul Centre will contact only the accepted applicants this time.
– The accepted applicants must submit their papers by April 1, 2019. The papers will be reviewed by Hanns Seidel Foundation’s Scientific Committee and appear in the conference proceedings by November 2019.

Conference Organizing and Scientific Committee
Hamza Tayebi
Founder &Executive Director – MENA Project
Takamul Centre for Studies and Research
Phone: +212 661 96 09 77
Abderrahim El Aalam
Founder & Executive Director of Takamul Centre
Professor of Political Science at QadiAyyad University, Marrakech- Morocco
Jochen Lobah
Regional Delegate- Hanns Seidel Foundation (Morocco/ Mauritania)
Ingrid Heidlmayr Chegdaly
Scientific Coordinator- Hanns Seidel Foundation (Morocco)
Lars Wenzel
Evaluator- Hanns Seidel Foundation (Morocco)
Miloud Isafiani
Project Coordinator- Hanns Seidel Foundation
Soumaya Belhabib
Professor of English Literature and Gender Studies
Member of the Multidisciplinary Studies Research Laboratory
Faculty of Letters and Humanities, IbnTofail University, Kenitra- Morocco
Mourad Mkinsi
Professor of English and Cultural Studies
Coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Studies Research Laboratory
Faculty of Letters and Humanities IbnTofail, Kenitra- Morocco
Naima Benlarabi
Professor of English and Gender Studies
Member of the Multidisciplinary Studies Research Laboratory
Faculty of Letters and Humanities IbnTofail, Kenitra- Morocco
Youssouf Amine Elalamy
Professor of English and Media Studies
Member of the Multidisciplinary Studies Research Laboratory
Faculty of Letters and Humanities IbnTofail, Kenitra- Morocco
Dara J. Silberstein
Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Binghamton University, the State University of New York
Isabelle Werenfels
Senior Fellow, Middle East and Africa Research Division
StiftungWissenschaft und Politik
German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Fatima Roumate
President of the International Institute
for Scientific Research, Rabat-Morocco
Professor of Public Law
Mohamed V University- Rabat, Morocco
Fatima Zohra Iflahen
Professor of English and Gender Studies
Qadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco
Larbi Sadiki
Professor of International Relations
Qatar University, College of Arts and Sciences
Ilham Bettach
Ph.D. in Gender Studies
Mohamed V University, Rabat-Morocco
Badr Guennoun
Professor of English and Gender Studies
Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender Studies, University of California Los Angeles
The International University of Rabat, Morocco
– Najia Hichmine, Ph.D. Candidate in Gender Studies at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Faculty
of Letters Dhar El Mehraz, Fulbright Research Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
– Fatima Zahra El Amrani, Ph.D. in Gender Studies, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Faculty of
Letters Dhar El Mehraz, Fez.
– Taha Tayebi, Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Studies, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra-Morocco.

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