Seventh Edition of the international Forum “Mediterranean Women”

Seventh Edition of the International Forum “Mediterranean Women”

May 29, 30, and 31, 2015
Fez, Palais des Congrès 

The seventh edition of the international forum “Mediterranean Women” will be organized by Isis Center for Women and Development and Konrad Adenauer – Rabat on May 29, 30 and 31, 2015 at the Palais des Congrès, Fez, Morocco. The theme of this edition is “The Escalation of Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls in the Middle East and North Africa – MENA Region.”

While the post-Arab Spring turmoil is affecting men, women, and children, specific types of violence systematically target women and girls. The post-Arab Spring initial backlash on women’s rights is not only gathering momentum everyday, but is developing into unprecedented new types of violence against women with the dangerously mounting tide of extremist Jihadism.

The new forms of violence range from the imposition of the niqab (total veiling), the ban of women from public unless they are accompanied by a male member of the family, a return of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for women between the ages of 11 and 46, stoning to death of (supposedly) adulterous women, assassination of female activists, Jihad al-Nikah (brainwashed women offering sex in support of the Jihadists), honor crimes, and enslavement (buying/selling of women and girls).

These new forms of violence are indirectly “sanctioning” the already familiar types such as moralization incriminating women for any social crisis, domestic battering, increased sexual harassment, forced marriage, and (gang) rape that accompanied the post-uprising phases in the MENA region. The ambiguous barriers between moderate and extremist Islamists is intensifying the daily misery of women in most parts of the region and threatening the hard-won women’s rights, and systematic brainwashing is involving more and more women in the recruitment of female Jihadists. In parallel, extreme violence against women is heavily used in the Jihadists’ propaganda narratives and glorified by mainstream media.

The dire absence of statistics, let alone serious academic research, on this issue is adding fuel to an already hot problem whose short- and long- term social, economic, and political repercussions are far-reaching and call for a combination of reliable research and urgent policies.

The Forum aims at documenting the new forms of violence against women and suggesting preventive solutions.

Eminent researchers, experts and activists from over 20 countries will participate in the Forum which will address 7 main axes:

1. What does the escalation of violence against women mean?
2. Escalation of violence against women in the Middle East
3. Escalation of violence against women in North Africa
4. Patriarchy and the escalation of gender-based violence
5. Masculinities
6. Strategies to combat gender-based violence
-Education Reform
-Textbook Reform
7. Transnational Networking in the face of the escalation of transnational vioelnce against women

The languages of the Forum are: Arabic, French and English.