04 February 2019, GENEVA: A new publication entitled “Women’s Rights in the Arab Region: Between Myth and Reality” has been released by the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue. On 15 September 2017, the Geneva Centre organized a meeting on the same theme in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt at the United Nations Office in Geneva. It was held as a side-event to the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The conference held in the format of a panel debate sought to review the remaining challenges and to deconstruct the existing myths regarding women in the Arab region. As became evident during the debate, women worldwide are still suffering, to different degrees, from the grip of patriarchy, and these challenges are not specific to any culture, but are common to all countries.
The panel highlighted the negative impact of the stereotypical representations of Arab and Muslim women, and the resulting intersecting forms of discrimination. Despite the efforts of the international community, and the comprehensive international legal framework on women’s rights, major setbacks persisted all around the world.
The present publication features the proceedings of the above-mentioned panel discussion, as well as the written contributions from the renowned panellists that participated in the side-event, which include HE Ms Hoda Al-Helaissi, Member of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council and former Vice-Chairperson at King Saud University, Ambassador Naela Gabr, Member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Ambassador Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Dr.Susan Carland, Researcher and Director of Monash University's Bachelor of Global Studies in Australia, Ms Sarah Zouak, Co-founder of the French association Lallab and HE Ms Tahani Ali Toor Eldba, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice of the Sudan.
It also contains a study signed by Ambassador Naela Gabr and edited by Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre, which seeks to underscore the lessons learned from the debate and to broaden the discussion to other regions of the world.