GENEVA, 06 September 2017 - The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue (“The Geneva Centre”) will convene, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations Office, World Trade Organization and other international organizations in Geneva, a panel discussion on the theme "Women’s rights in the Arab region: between myth and reality".

The panel discussion will take place on Friday 15 September 2017, from 10:00 to 12:00, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (Room XXIV), and will be organized as a side-event to the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council, scheduled to take place from 11 to 29 September 2017.

The Chairman of the Geneva Centre’s Board of Management, H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, and the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations Office at Geneva, H. E. Mr. Amr Ramadan, will deliver inaugural addresses. Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre, will be moderating the discussion.

The panel will consist of speakers with extensive knowledge in the field of gender and women’s rights, with various backgrounds. The following panel members will participate at the session:

- H. E. Ms. Hoda Al-Helaissi, member of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, former Vice-Chairperson at King Saud University;

- H. E. Ms. Emna Aouij, Member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against women in law and in practice;

- H. E. Ms. Naela Mohamed Gabr, Member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women;

- H. E. Ms. Dubravka Šimonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences;

- Dr. Susan Carland,  Researcher and specialist on  gender and Islam in the modern world, Director of  Monash University's Bachelor of Global Studies (Australia);

- Ms. Sarah Zouak, Co-founder of the French association Lallab (based in Paris), organizer of the Women Sense Tour, writer and producer of the documentary Women Sense Tour.

The panel discussion will seek to objectively measure progress in the Arab region on the status of women in relation to the recent past, with a view to providing impetus for the further advancement of their status. At the same time, it will aim at bringing out the fact that the challenges that remain are shared, to different degrees, by other civilisations. This should lead to gradually deconstructing existing myths and stereotypes based on misunderstandings, prejudice or Islamophobia.

The ultimate outcome of the discussion will be to collect the proceedings of the debate, the main recommendations and the most pertinent ideas exchanged during this event, into a new publication in follow-up to the study entitled “Women’s Rights in the Arab Region: Myths and Realities”, published in March 2017. The study will attempt to examine the shortcomings in the pursuit of gender equality in mainly Arab societies, against the backdrop of weaknesses that the North continues to endure in the pursuit of the same objective of gender equality.

Official flyer: Women's rights in the Arab region between myth and reality (15 September)

Concept note of the panel debate on women's rights in the Arab region

Date & Time: 
Friday, 15 September, 2017 - 10:00 to 12:00

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