On the eve of the International Women's Day (IWD), the IED foundation organised in closed collaboration with MEP Silvia Costa this international Conference focusing on women’s engagement in Arab Springs and in following democratic transitions. The Conference further deepened the reflections and researches on this topic previously carried out by MEP Silvia Costa within the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament (also with conferences co-organised with the EDP) as Rapporteur charged of drafting the own-initiative report on the Situation of women in North Africa. The Resolution on the Situation of women in North Africa (summary 1 and text adopted 2) was adopted quasi-unanimously in Strasbourg on the 12th of March, few days after the Conference.
The Conference, co-chaired by Silvia Costa and the Italian journalist Luca Attanasio and with the contribution of Donatina Persichetti (President of the Committee on Equal Opportunities of the Lazio region and President of "Donna & Società"), offered the occasion for Italian journalists, experts and politicians to meet with women protagonist of Arab Springs and to listen to their insights. The Egyptian journalist Sarah Sirgany, the Tunisian human rights activist Sihem Bensedrine and the Egyptian psychiatrist Sally Toma shared their views and experiences on recent developments and on women’s conditions in their countries, stressing the importance of women’s engagement as a founding element of uprisings and democratic transitions. The historical moment experienced in these countries offers a unique window of opportunity for changing women’s condition and perception in these societies and for giving them the chance to start acting on the public stage, contributing to reaffirm their rights and those of their people.
Below: conference programme (EN/IT) and contributions (IT)
For a more in-depth analysis on these issues, here is the contribution (IT) from our conference moderator Luca Attanasio: La primavera araba dipende dalle donne