Contesting Gender Equality in the MENA Region: Case Studies of Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey

Egypt, Report, Tunisia, Turkey, Women’s rights and gender justice

EuroMed Rights participated in the drafting of a chapter for the Center for Feminist Foreign Policy’s latest report “POWER OVER RIGHTS, Understanding and countering the transnational anti-gender movement”. In its submission, EuroMed Rights (together with its member Kvinna till Kvinna) covered the contestations of women’s and LGBTIQ+ rights in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey.

While this report acknowledges that significant progress has been made towards gender equality on a regional level, it also argues that various political movements, such as authoritarian state-feminism, Islamist-conservative, and a form of illiberalism, contest, on multiple grounds, the idea of gender equality, preventing the advancement of women’s and LGBTQI persons’ rights.

Interestingly, the discourse around gender equality is very similar in the three countries. At its core is the argument that gender equality goes against religious values, threatens the family entity, promotes ‘homosexuality’, and is a Western and elitist concept. The political and historical development in each country partly explains what motivates anti-feminist and anti-gender actors.

Read the full report, EuroMed Rights’ contribution is included in Vol. II.