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The IEMed’s Gender Programme participated in the research seminar of the interuniversity program Aula mediterrània. This seminar brings together each year scholars and students of 14 masters specialized in international relations, migration, communication, journalism and history of the Mediterranean and / or the Arab world. This year, several sessions were dedicated to the analysis and research on women in Islam, the role of women in revolutions in Arab countries, the empowerment of women and legal loopholes regarding forced marriages in the Arab world. EU. Researchers like Itzea Goikolea-Amiano (University of London), Refka Smida (Autonomous University of Barcelona), David Moya (University of Barcelona) provided their insights.
Similarly, Sherin Khankan, an imam and founder of the Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen, has shown that celebrating interreligious marriages and divorces is compatible with the values of the Islamic religion. Sundari Anitha (University of Lincoln) explored intersections of gender, sexuality, race, migration and racism and argued that gender influences how violence is felt. She also recalled that forced marriages are often perpetrated in countries where abortion laws are very restrictive. She argued that violence should not be perceived according to an essentialist approach.
In the session on the empowerment of women in the Mediterranean, one can mention, among others, the intervention of Natalia Caicedo (University of Barcelona) on the situation of migrant women, which may be synonymous for them with social mobility compared to their country of origin, but also of vulnerability and socio-economic precariousness. Caicedo referred to the December 2011 Directive of the Parliament and the Council of the EU on standards for third-country nationals or stateless persons to be eligible for international protection because it takes into account the gender as a condition for obtaining asylum. Fatiha Hassouni of the Union for the Mediterranean - UfM presented the lines of work of her institution to monitor the progress of the UfM Member States in the field of gender equality. The UfM Secretariat has also endorsed 52 projects - 8 of which directly address gender equality - to place equality at the heart of the Euro-Med political agenda.
IEMed’s Gender Program Coordinator, Emilie Vidal, participated in the session as a discussant and bounced on many aspects of the presentations. In terms of terminology, Vidal pleaded for giving back to the term "empowerment" the sense of collective dimension and transformation of power relations that this concept has sometimes lost since it was used by international development agencies and that it has become one of the goals of sustainable development.
The program is available here and the report is available in the attached file.
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.
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