The ISIS Center for Women and Development organized the 8th edition of the Mediterranean Women Forum on the theme ‘Women’s Voices in the Mediterranean and Africa: Movements, Feminisms, and Resistance to Extremisms’, which took place in the Palais des Congrès, in Fez, Morocco, on May 5-10, 2017. The main aim of the conference was to fight radicalization and extremism, build-up peace initiatives, protect women’s rights, and enhance women’s empowerment.
An increasing number of women’s voices in the Mediterranean and Africa is rising against mounting violence against women in the name of radical Islam and the instrumentalization of religion to exacerbate Islamophobia and attain power. These voices range from academics to activists and policy-makers, and suggest new ways of looking at the concepts of Mediterranean and African “women’s rights”, “Islamic feminisms” and “resistance", as well as exploring theoretical and methodological tools. Trough feminist discourses, activisms and movements, the voices are denouncing biases, asking for justice, reclaiming rights in spaces, and reconciling older and newer generations of feminists in the Mediterranean and Africa.
In retrospective, women in the Mediterranean and Africa have always been sensitive to radicalized discourses. Although the two regions are seen as distinct spaces, women in them are increasingly facing the same ordeal. The international conference was a multi-disciplinary and sought to develop innovative and insightful ways of unpacking and accounting for these resistances.
The themes and topics discussed in the international conference included:
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.