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Influential Female Actors of Change

January 2015
Edition Number: 

Intercultural Affairs

"There is a collective will to live together". Interview with Turkish sociologist Nilufer Gole

Prominent Turkish sociologist Nilufer Gole is a leading authority on Islamic identity and urban Muslim women. In an interview with Ceyda Nurtsch, she explains why freedom of speech is not sacred and why a new society in Europe is inevitable.

Talking racism. Mixed feelings in Lebanon

Tiny Lebanon, resting on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, builds much of its identity on a reputed diversity. Religiously, linguistically and culturally, Lebanon is more mixed than most, not least other countries of the same size. Its ethnic diversity on the other hand is less well known – and, according to the experiences of many mixed Lebanese, not as celebrated. Nisreen Kaj, herself of mixed Lebanese-Nigerian heritage, and Marta Bogdanska, a Polish photographer, just finished a tour around Lebanon with their project Mixed Feelings, a photo exhibit of cross-culture Lebanese.

In Focus

Le Maroc au temps des femmes ? La féminisation des associations locales en question

Au Maroc, réformes et changements prennent aujourd’hui une place de choix dans l’agenda politique. La promotion de la participation des femmes à la vie publique en fait partie. À travers une étude localisée de la féminisation des associations locales, cette contribution interroge les transformations sociopolitiques qui semblent en découler. Cette recherche se base plus concrètement sur l’analyse des carrières de trente femmes qui ont réussi à s’imposer comme dirigeantes associatives dans des quartiers périphériques de la ville de Casablanca où, il y a peu de temps encore, les associations locales étaient exclusivement dirigées par des hommes.

The First Ladies and the Arab Spring: A textual analysis of the media coverage of the female counterparts of authoritarian oppression in the Middle East

In textually analyzing the media coverage of the First Ladies of the Arab Spring, this paper argues that the media's approach to understanding the role of women in the structures of political power in the Middle East is often either too simplistic or too driven by a desire to exoticize the East, making it even harder to visualize and imagine the face of real female political empowerment in the region.

Gender and justice in an emerging nation: My impressions of Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan

In December 2013, Kurdish rights and women’s rights advocate Margaret Owen travelled to Rojava, in Syrian Kurdistan, just three weeks before the region officially announced self-government. Here she reports on her experiences in the conflict-zone and the PYD’s principles of gender equality in action.

النساء في الثورات العربية: ربيع الثورة وخريف المرأة، حسابات الحقل وحصاد البيدر

حوار مع أستاذة العلوم السياسية الألمانية – المصرية والناشطة النسائية هدى صلاح حول التغيرات التي طرأت على أوضاع المرأة والحركات النسائية بعد نحو عام على اندلاع ثورات الربيع العربي.

Women and leadership: Factors that influence women’s career success

The purpose of this thesis is to examine women's possibilities to advance to leadership positions. This thesis is based on the fact that there are less female leaders than male leaders, both globally and in Finland. The thesis aims to find the influential factors behind women's career and ways to increase the number of women in leadership positions. The theoretical part of the study consists of the following topics: what is meant by female leadership, female leadership in a global context and in Finland, why it is important to promote female leadership and what are the underlying influential factors in women's careers.

Agents of change – tapping into the minds of North Africa’s future (female) leaders
Louisa Dunnigan

A new programme is training young women in North Africa to be the leaders their countries need for a better future. But in these shifting times, is that enough to prepare them for the challenges that lie ahead?

Mediterranean Women: Fighting for Their Rights

During Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, women artists, lawyers, journalists, citizens and militants marched on the frontline for democracy and freedom. Together with their “sisters” in Israel, Italy, and Morocco, they stood up against dictatorship and social injustice, sexual harassment and objectification, and against the laws that are putting them behind bars. This documentary forms a unique portrait of female activists around the Mediterranean. Contains explicit nudity. (52 minutes)

EuroMed Media Review


Sciences Po has created a training programme to support and guide young Mediterranean women in their professional and personal fulfillment. Every year in June, a total of 22 women will be selected based on a wide range of criteria, such as early excellence in their professional field or a commitment to promoting equality in their domain of activities. Women from the business, arts, culture, research, politics and humanitarian sectors will come together and benefit from both applied and theoretical support to their careers. Training will include modules on law, leadership, management and gender, and conflict resolution. Apply now for «Women of the Mediterranean: Next Generation of Leaders». The programme will be held in Paris (Sciences Po campus) and Brussels (European Union Parliament) from June 1st to 15th 2015.

Centre-right candidate wins Croatian presidential election by thin margin

Croatia's conservative opposition won a narrow presidential victory yesterday (11 January), capitalising on popular discontent over economic decline and setting down a marker for parliamentary elections later in the year.

Creative Europe

The Creative Europe programme aims to support the European audiovisual, cultural and creative sector. The different funding schemes encourage the audiovisual, cultural and creative players to operate across Europe, to reach new audiences and to develop the skills needed in the digital age.

Women Deliver Young Leaders Program

Women Deliver  is now accepting applications for the Young Leaders Program & Youth Scholarships for 2016 Conference
The Young Leaders Program is a three-year fellowship program for young people (under the age of 30) who are passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights. While the total time required to fully participate in the Young Leaders Program depends on the individual, Young Leaders should expect to commit an average of up to 10 hours a week.

الربيع العربي، النساء والتحول الديمقراطي

عقدت "شبكة سلمى الإقليمية لمناهضة العنف ضد النساء في المنطقة العربية" مؤتمرا في ظل الربيع العربي ومرحلة التحولات والاحتجاجات والثورات الشعبية المطالبة بالديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان. ودامت أعمال المؤتمر ثلاثة أيام شاركت فيها أكثر من ستين امرأة من قيادات الحركة النسوية في احدى عشر بلدا عربيا.

التحرّش صار عادي!

تقدم عرمرم فيلم وثائقي قصير يتحدث عن مشكلة التحرّش الجنسي في الأردن من عدّة جوانب وعلى الحاجة لتدعيم فكرة اللجوء للقضاء في حال تعرّض الفتاة للتحرّش.

باحثون بمراكش يرصدون مكانة المرأة في التحولات الديمقراطية

أجمع باحثون على أن قضية تمكين المرأة وجعلها شريكا فاعلا وأساسيا في التنمية السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية مسألة ثقافية، حيث ما زالت المعوقات المجتمعية الذكورية تواجه النساء العربيات خلال الربيع العربي وبعده بسبب الإرث الثقافي. وتم التحدث عن هذه القضايا خلال جلسات ندوة "المرأة والتحول الديمقراطي في بلدان الربيع العربي"، التي نظمت من طرف مختبر الأبحاث حول التحول الديمقراطي المقارن وكلية الحقوق بمراكش.

محاضرة حول التحولات الاجتماعية وأوضاع المرأة المغربية

تحدثت زهرة طاموح الأستاذة الجامعية المغربية في محاضرة حول تأثير الإرث الثقافي العربي الإسلامي الإفريقي الأمازيغي على المرأة وأنها هُمّشت لعدة عوامل لا علاقة لها بالإسلام.


Female Tunisian Revolutionaries: Leadership and Social (Dis)order in Global News Production
Donnalyn Pompper

This study offers a critical analysis of ways women were represented during the peak of protests associated with the Tunisian civil resistance campaign in North Africa from late 2010 through early 2011 among newspapers, wire services, and blogs—launch of the Arab Spring (or Arab Awakening). Theoretical underpinning includes norm theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1982) and gender role congruity theory (Eagly & Karau, 2002), as well as Gans's (1979) concept of social order as an enduring news value. Enjoined, these frameworks facilitate interrogation of print and visual texts to reveal characterizations of women and how the outcomes may have shaped public opinion on the global stage.

Spirituality, Tradition and Gender: Judith Montefiore, the Very Model of a Modern Jewish Woman
Abigail Green

Judith Montefiore's life has attracted attention principally by association with that of her husband Sir Moses Montefiore (1784–1885), the pre-eminent Jewish figure of his age. This article emphasises instead Judith's pioneering role as a Jewish woman travel-writer and influential female voice in the world of Jewish letters and international Jewish politics.

Dissident writings of arab women: voices against violence
Brinda J.Mehta

The female authors destabilize essentialist framings of Arab identity through a series of reflective interrogations and "contesting" literary genres that include novels, short stories, poetry, docudramas, interviews and testimonials. Rejecting a purist "literature for literature’s sake" ethic, they embrace a dissident poetics of feminist critique and creative resistance as they engage in multiple and intergenerational border crossings in terms of geography, subject matter, language and transnationality. 

Arab Women Rising: 35 entrepeneurs making a difference in the arab world
Nafeesa Syed, Rahilla Zafar

In Arab Women Rising, Knowledge@Wharton contributors Nafeesa Syeed and Rahilla Zafar share the entrepreneurial journeys of 35 women, from a flower farmer tending her fields in the Tunisian countryside to a Saudi royal advocating for expanded women's rights throughout the kingdom.

Arab Women Writers as Revolutionary Orators and Catalytic Agents of Emancipation
Safaa S. Nasser

In her article "Contemporary Egyptian and Palestinian Women's Writing as 'Committed Literature'" Safaa S. Nasser discusses the role of Arab women writers whose works were harbingers of the Arab Spring of 2011. Nasser's analysis demonstrate that the majority of Arab women writers acted as agents of feminist action and social change through their critique of patriarchal, phallocentric domi-nation and through their call for a secular sensibility.