Towards a Feminist Political Economy in the MENA Region

Authored by: Rima Majed

Categories: Human Rights, The Field of Women, Peace and Security
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Economic Participation, Economic Recovery
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2021
Citation: Majed, Rima. "Towards a Feminist Political Economy in the MENA Region." Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. January 2021.

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Executive Summary

In light of the longstanding and most recent regional crises, many feminist movements and organisations in the MENA region have been seeking to provide a gendered understanding of the multi-layered catastrophes we are living. And one important area attracting more attention nowadays is the ‘Feminist Political Economy Approach’.

Many feminists today are calling for a more intersectional approach to our everyday experiences, grounded in political economy and focused on a gendered understanding, in order to center the relationship between the political, economic and social spheres. To that end, WILPF has published a guide to feminist political economy seeking to support feminist initiatives in adopting such an approach in their work and activism. While the guide is not specific to the MENA region, it remains a highly useful resource.

Adopting a ‘Feminist Political Economy Approach’ for the MENA region can have a significant added value. While feminist political economy is relevant for all societies, it is specifically important for our region for two main reasons. Firstly, the MENA region records the highest inequality and youth unemployment rates in the world, with most countries suffering from what is known as the “Dutch disease”. Secondly, most countries in this region are either war-ridden or post-war societies. Both reasons, often interconnected, have had huge gendered implications on people’s lives in this part of the world.