Institute Delegates will delve into further discussion of regional polemics surround women’s roles in democratic transitions. The panel discussions and break-out sessions will consider how we honor the historic role of women in the Arab Spring, locate women in peace building and conflict resolution, engage women leaders in transitional justice processes, and prevent fundamentalist forces from eroding gender equality, among other topics. Stay tuned for reflections from delegates on their participation in today’s session!
Day Three – Wednesday, June 13
8:30 a.m. Delegates Arrive at Clapp Library Lecture Room
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Women and the Arab Spring: New Awakenings and Women’s Critical Role in Democratic Transformations
- Ambassador Moushira Khattab, Former Egyptian Ambassador to South Africa and Egypt and former Minister for Family and Population, Egypt
- Ambassador Michele Sison, Assistant Chief of Mission for Law Enforcement and Rule of Law Assistance in Baghdad, Iraq; former Ambassador to Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
- Moderator: Dr. Haleh Esfandiari
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Participants will share their own experiences
How do we honor the historic role of women in the Arab Spring and locate women in peace building and conflict resolution? This session will examine the paradox of women’s extensive engagement in the revolutions and in pro-democracy struggles and their subsequent marginalization from democratic negotiations and newly formed governance structures, institutions and democratic and political processes.
What are the causes and consequences of women’s marginalization in high-level political decision-making in the region? While celebrating the transformation to more democratic processes of government, women advocates are deeply concerned about the paucity of women in transitional processes. Another concern is the attacks on Egyptian women on International Women’s Day on Tahrir Square, the very square that nourished a historic emancipatory project. Samira Ibrahim, with 16 other women, were detained and subject to virginity testing. As troubling are the efforts to roll back the Anti- Female Genital Mutilation and anti-child marriage laws. Despite the fact that the Arab Spring can be a lightning rod for some important reforms on behalf of women and that political and social transitions offer unique opportunities for recasting and transforming social, economic and political structures, women are being shut out of democratic governance processes. In Libya women are calling for a 30 percent quota for women in the Election Law to be drafted. However, when the draft law came out it was diluted.
|Some Issues for Discussion:|
- How can women be at the forefront of placing equality under law at the heart of democratic transitions?
- What are the transitional justice processes women have been left out of in the MENA region?
- How can we sustain the spirit of the revolutions while preventing the rollback of prior gains for women?
- How do we combat violence against women in transitional justice processes including virginity testing
- How can we prevent conservative and fundamentalist forces from eroding equality for women?
Lunch 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Brackett Reading Room (Library)
Lessons from the Arab Revolution: Why were women marginalized in the aftermath of the Arab Revolution? How can women play a critical role in transitional processes and retain the honor of the revolutions?
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. Afternoon Session
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Group discussions
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Role Play before Plenary
4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Plenary Discussions
Refer to Session 3 (1-2) of materials
Moderator: Professor Vinnie Ferraro, Ruth C. Lawson Professor of International Politics, Mt. Holyoke & Professor Karen Remmler
As a woman in public service present a plan for women’s leadership in transitional justice processes. This would involve better organizing, networking, building private/ public partnerships with other women and women’s alliances.
Identify all stakeholders in transitional justice processes. This involves political parties, religious leaders, male alliances, members of the transitional government etc. Create a plan to engage with them.
Create a plan for funding for a gender equal transitional justice process by an international development agency. This could include more women representation in commissions or a quota for women etc. present this plan to an international development agency.
How do we create a strong movement (women in public service connecting with academic, NGO and community organizations) to counteract patriarchal cultures and religious extremism in transitional justice processes, such as election laws, constitutional commissions, human rights commissions, in tribunals, etc. See example from Libya. Come up with a strong statement or position.
Statement of free Libya women’s stand on 6/1/2012 against article (1) of the Draft Election Law (Included in materials)
How can women have greater access to public service? Political and social transitions offer unique opportunities for recasting and transforming social, economic and political structures, especially for the benefit of those denied human rights and access to decision making processes. Importantly, the Arab Spring offers an opportunity to consolidate some of the positive changes that occurred as a result of the recent revolutions. In this context, how do we advance women in foreign service? Create a plan specifically for enhancing women’s participation in foreign service.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Dinner
Keynote Speaker: Juliette N. Kayyem on Women in National Security Policy
Juliette N. Kayyem, the national security and foreign policy columnist for the Boston Globe and Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, has spent nearly 15 years in counterterrorism, homeland security and emergency management arena. She most recently served President Obama as Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. She was the most senior Arab American appointee in the Obama Administration.