Foto: Emad Karim, UN Women

Development Talks

What does it mean to be a man in the Middle East?

Uppdaterad: 12 oktober 2017

When: Thursday 26 October, 2017
Time: 09:00 – 11:30 (Registration and coffee from 08:30)
Venue: Sida, Valhallavägen 199, Stockholm (Hörsalen)

Women have been fighting for gender equality for centuries in the Middle East and North Africa, and there have been significant advances. But much more needs to be done. Men frequently dominate or control household decision making, political and leadership spaces and the daily lives of women and girls. Yet little is known about men’s attitudes on gender and masculinities.

In May 2017, the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) was carried out in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine. Key findings from this first study of its kind show that a majority of the interviewed men support traditional patriarchal attitudes, and they believe a woman’s most important role is to care for the household. And unlike other parts of the world, younger men are just as unwilling to change these roles as the older ones.

During this seminar, we will get a unique insight into the perceptions and attitudes of men and how masculinity is affected by the political and economic situation in the region.

But we will also hear the stories of how gender equality is possible, and learn from successful advocacy and program responses in Lebanon with male refugees. Finally, research findings on women’s experience of male authority will be presented and proposals on how gender equality can be promoted in a Muslim family context, using a feminist interpretation of Islam.

The presenters will be the Head of UN Women’s Arab States Regional Office in Cairo and its key partner organizations under the UN Women Men and Women for Gender Equality Programme, funded by Sida.


Register here by Monday 23 October 2017.

Moderator: Susanna Ahlfors, Sida


08:30 Registration and coffee

09:00 Welcome and introductory remarks
Carin Jämtin, Director General, Sida

09:10 Women and girls in the MENA region – an overview
Mohammad Naciri, Regional Director, UN Women Arab States

9:20 What does it mean to be a man in the MENA region?
Key findings and recommendations from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey IMAGES) in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine, carried out by Promundo.
Giovanna Lauro, Vice President of Research and Programs of Promundo
Shereen El Feki, Co-Principal Investigator, IMAGES MENA

9:40 Film: male engagement in gender equality.

9:50 Working with men as partners in ending gender based violence and promoting more equal relationships
Learnings form the work of ABAAD in Lebanon.
Anthony Keedi, Masculinities Technical Advisor, ABAAD Resource Centre for Gender Equality in Lebanon

10:00 Who provides? Who decides?
How can we provide more equal relationships in the Muslim family context? Presentation of the work of Musawah, ('equality' in Arabic) a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Key findings from Musawah research on women’s experiences of male authority.
Zainah Anwar, Director Musawah
Mulki Al Sharmani, member of the Musawah Knowledge Building group

10:15 Coffee and sandwich

10:30 Panel discussion:
Charlotta Sparre, former Ambassador to Egypt
Mohammad Naciri, Regional Director for the Arab States Region, UN Women
Shereen El Feiki, Co-Principal Investigator, IMAGES MENA
Anthony Keedi, Masculinities Technical Advisor, ABAAD Resource Centre
Zainah Anwar, Director, Musawah

11:30 End

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