Miscellaneous - - Euro-Mediterranean region

Unequal Gender Relations and the Subordination of Women in the MENA Region: What the Covid-19 Pandemic Has Taught Us

28.10.2020 / Created by IEMed

Published for the IEMed Mediterranean Yearbook 2020, this paper offers a bird’s eye view of the context of Covid-19 in the MENA region with emphasis on the ways in which this global event, or rather calamity, has accentuated and amplified existing gender and other inequalities, whilst at the same time opening spaces for innovative and significant feminist actions and engagement.

The information used for the analysis presented in this paper reposes on the author’s feminist work in Lebanon and the region at the level of activism, research and collective engagement. The author also draws extensively on her feminist networks within and beyond the MENA region in an attempt to visibilize feminist action in a time of crisis.

The paper argues that looking at Covid-19 through a gender lens can only be possible if we are cognizant of the situation of gender equality, or rather inequality, in the region and the activism around it before the pandemic. The paper also maintains that, as with all major crises and calamities, while amplifying inequalities and various forms of injustice, Covid-19 has also created a window of opportunity for change.

The paper suggests that, whilst this window of opportunity may be short-lived, it nevertheless carries immense opportunities for transformation in the lives of all women and girls in the region.


  • Type of publication : Article
  • Author : Lina Abou Habib
  • Co-editor : IEMed
  • Publishing house : European Institute of the Mediterranean
  • Publication date : 2020
  • Number of pages : 5
  • Language : English


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