You are here

F.5.b.vii. Middle East

#MeToo in the Middle East, Socialist Worker, 22/02/2019,

A comprehensive exploration of the development of feminist movements in the Middle East, despite the wars led by authoritarian states, western imperialistic powers, and reactionary fundamentalist forces.

Al-Tamini, Jumana, #MeToo offers lessons for Arabs too, Gulf News, 27/03/2018,

This article describes the difficulty of talking about sexual harassment in conservative Arab societies, which have made the ‘MeToo’ movement in the Arab world less significant than in the West. However, it also points to the fact that the activism of Arab women is becoming less of a taboo and mentions the legislative reforms that took place in countries such as Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon.

For another thorough analysis of the cultural impediments to openly discuss sexual violence and sexual harassment within Arab societies, see also and

AP, Palestinian-American brings #MeToo campaign to West Bank, Arab News, 03/02/2018,

This article describes the initiative a young Palestinian-American took to confront patriarchy and sexism in the West Bank and the lack of protection for women, despite legal reforms formally taking place in its territories. Yasmeen Mjalli is the inventor of T-shirts, hoodies and jackets with the slogan ‘I Am Not Your Habibti (darling)’, an expression typically used for catcalling women and young girls. Sexual harassment is a taboo subject in Palestine, which is still dominated by a culture of victim blaming, like many other parts of the Arab World. It is moreover not considered a priority amongst Palestinians in comparison to the fight against Israeli occupation. The article also briefly cites minor reforms that occurred in Egypt, the Gulf Arab Region and Saudi Arabia.

Avraham, Rachel, Middle East needs its own ‘MeToo’ movement for minority women, The Hill, 27/05/2018,

A brief overview of how the MeToo movement started to get support in Israel as a consequence of the release of the song ‘Toy’ by Israeli singer Netta Barzilai and her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. The song points to issues around feminism and diversity, and has a strong emphasis on the harassment suffered by women. This article also addresses the lack of attention to the plight that Hindu and Christian women and girls in Pakistan suffer, the fact that they are compelled to convert to Islam and then subsequently forced to marry their captors.

Bigio, Jamil ; Vogelstein, Rachel, Yemen peace efforts miss a critical factor, Reuters, 18/12/2018,

Commentary on the role that women can play in the peace talks within the context of the Yemeni conflict that erupted in 2015. It highlights the situation of women in politics prior to and after the eruption of the conflict. It also provides data elucidating gender-based violence in the country and names of coalitions established by women to tackle it.

Gharib, Malak, #MosqueMeToo gives Muslim women a voice about sexual misconduct at Mecca, NPR, 26/02/2018,

Malak Gharib reports the story of Egyptian-American activist and journalist, Mona Eltahawy, who was sexually assaulted during a pilgrimage at Mecca in 1982 when she was 15. Eltahawy initiated the hashtag #MosqueMeToo after other Arab women shared similar stories on social media. (For further reading, see also

Ghazal, Rym T., The struggle with the stigma associated with rape, Arab News, 01/01/2019,

In this comprehensive article, Rym Tina Ghazal sheds light on the difficult condition women living in the MENA region face if they fall victim to rape. She highlights the pervasive culture of blame that prevent women from reporting episodes of abuse, and the still predominant practice of ‘honour killing’ that women risk for being sexually assaulted. She also publicises the weeks-long campaign #ShameOnWho led by the Lebanese women’s rights group ABAAD in 2018, aimed at addressing the social stigma that women suffer in the aftermath of sexual violence.

For more on #ShameOnWho, please see