WITH A SPECIAL INTRODUCTION BY Amaney A. Jamal, Dean, School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA); Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Director: Bobst-AUB Collaborative Initiative
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The MENA region is marred by conflict and political systems that are founded on the basis of exclusionary policies. Gender-based discrimination is structural and built on century old laws and policies that keep women at risk and in the margins. In the region, participation of women in both the economy and politics ranks the lowest worldwide on a number of indices. State feminism in many of the MENA countries has done little to curb the effect of discriminatory culture and practices that prevail at the workplace and in the public sphere. At the heart of the region, in the American University of Beirut (AUB) the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership (CIBL) for Women is leading a transnational effort mobilizing networks of actors in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to begin changing policies and practices for women’s inclusion. This mobilizing is generating and utilizing data for the region and from the region for the purpose of partnering with employers to engage in change initiatives, despite the failings of governments. This presentation will synthesize lessons learnt into a theoretical and empirical framework on how to mobilize for more inclusive work systems. We will show that even in protracted conflicts, governmental deadlocks, and multiple crisis that mobilizing can be impactful. We will show how the creation of the first regional indices is helping to fill a major data deficit and lay the foundation for mobilizing employers for more dignified work structures. We take stock of the political, economic, and organizational challenges faced and conclude with an inclusive vision for collective feminist mobilizing.
Dr. Charlotte Karam holds an Endowed Professorship in Inclusive Human Resource Systems at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. She is also the Founding Director and now Director of International Partnerships at the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership (CIBL) for Women at Olayan School of Business, at the American University of Beirut, where she is also an adjunct Professor.
Dr. Carmen Geha is a Tenured Associate Professor of Public Administration at the American University of Beirut and co-founder of the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership (CIBL) for Women. She is a Fullbright visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center in Harvard University.
Co-sponsor with the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and Department of Near Eastern Studies.