Women Driving Positive Change in the Middle East


"In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, the Middle East Program, the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative, and Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center collected essays from 33 women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the United States, and elsewhere to mark the occasion. We bring together their responses—which cover a wide geographic region and a wide range of views—in this publication.

Women throughout the region, as is true in the rest of the world, face a variety of challenges: underrepresentation in the political sphere, exclusion from or barriers to the workforce, repercussions of family status laws, physical and sexual abuse, and at times the responsibility of supporting their families by themselves. Some women in the region are also faced with some of humanity’s cruelest circumstances: unending conflict, famine, forced migration, and subjugation to sexual violence used as a tool of war, among others. While mindful of the reality of these difficult situations and enduring obstacles, this year for International Women’s Day, we chose the theme of “women driving positive change” to highlight the diverse work of women throughout the region who counter these challenges and make the world a better place for themselves, their families, and their communities."



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