Rethinking Women’s Empowerment in the MENA

Women’s empowerment in the MENA region is often based on the Eurocentric notion that empowerment unfolds along a single, universal pathway, with formal education leading to paid employment and financial independence as prerequisites. If women’s lives don’t follow these narrowly defined pathways, they are frequently considered by the development community to be ‘disempowered.’ This panel seeks to include papers around the theme of women’s empowerment that focus on women’s lived experiences in the MENA region, taking a more holistic and qualitative approach to thinking about women’s empowerment, disempowerment and empowerment pathways.  It is hoped that papers in this panel will add qualitative, micro-level data about women’s lives in the MENA, that not only broadens, but also complicates our understanding of modern-traditional dichotomies, as well as challenging notions of the ‘Third World’ woman as victim, receiver of aid and lacking agency, instead showing that women in the MENA play an active role in shaping their own lives.

If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of 150-200 works and a biography of 50 words by 10 February 2022 to

Deadline: 10 February 2022

More information about the conference can be found here –

Best wishes,

Ella Williams