Women and Economic Empowerment in the Arab Transitions

An expert meeting, beginning on May 21 in Beirut, will make the case that gender blind economic policies hurt Arab economies and societies

In the wake of the Arab uprisings, regional economies are still plagued by low productivity, high unemployment and low competitiveness, resulting in increased poverty and inequalities for women and men alike. Data shows that the status of Arab women is central to addressing the challenges faced by Arab economies. Even though Arab women have achieved high levels of education, these have not translated into economic outcomes and the region still has the lowest women’s economic participation rates globally.

Participants include some 45 government, worker, employer and civil society representatives, development practitioners, and academics.

Themes for discussion:

• Economic Justice: To what extent have past policies addressed women’s economic and social rights and where should future investment be made?
• Economic Rights: What approaches to entitlements and protection are needed in times of crises and transition for sound development and inclusive econmies?
• Governance and Policy Making: What systems can ensure gender responsive, productive and inclusive Arab societies?


• To provide analysis of past successes and current challenges to the realization of a gender inclusive and productive Arab development framework
• To identify policymaking elements and systems of governance to address current challenges, based on good practices from the region and beyond;
• To identify strategies to secure and advance Arab women’s economic rights in the context of the transition in the region.