Doha briefing in New York to discuss Arab Spring, its impact on Women's Rights

March 6, 2013 10:44 am 

DOHA, Qatar, March 6 — The Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (DIIFSD), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, is to host its Doha Briefing in New York City next week.

Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported that the event will take place on March 11 during the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters. DIIFSD has a Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

A statement released by DIIFSD said the theme of this year's briefing is 'Arab spring: a chance or a risk for women's rights'.

The briefing will feature an illustrious array of speakers, and commence with opening remarks by Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director of DIIFSD.

Dr. Nadine Naber, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, will address new challenges facing women in the region after the Arab spring.

Dr. Sophie Richter-Devroe, a lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University, will address the subject of violence against women. Dr. Rabab El-Mahdi, Associate Professor at the American University in Cairo, will be sharing key insights on the Arab spring and women's rights in Egypt.

"The purpose of the briefing by DIIFSD is to explore and highlight how effectively women's rights are incorporated into broader demands for social, economic, and political change in these transitioning countries. The briefing will address why gender empowerment is crucial for the sound socio-economic development of society, and what are the main impediments in achieving gender equality and women's empowerment in the region after the Arab spring," said Al Malki.

The Arab Spring has showed the strength and determination of the many Arab women who played a major role in the uprisings and called for change in their societies. Hopes were high that political reform would also bring gender equality.

Yet, for many women, the optimism which followed the Arab spring has been replaced by a disappointing autumn; and, for some, the impression remains that women fought for their freedom, only to then lose the rights they had previously enjoyed. Some analysts suggest there are troubling signs that the road ahead for Arab women will be challenging.

Although the situation of women varies across the region, threats to their human rights converge. Women are now confronting attempts to exclude them from decision-making and the public sphere through discrimination and violence. The event will discuss whether Arab women have anything to lose in pushing further for their rights at this critical time. And, as change brings opportunities as well as risks, will this prevent Arab women from struggling to take their rightful place in their own societies?

The Doha briefing will provide a platform to discuss all these ideas and challenges and to open the debate on issues that will have a great impact on the Arab family as whole. However, the institute stated that the views or papers reflect the opinion of the authors or attendees and are not necessarily endorsed by the DIIFSD.

The Doha briefing is an annual event organised by DIIFSD at the United Nations since 2009. The main objective is to inform and exchange views and expertise with Diplomats, UN representatives and NGOs on important issues related to the family, women and development.(PNA/Bernama)

LOR/JNC

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