It’s time to map backlashes to gender equality!

Algeria, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Morocco / Western Sahara, Newsletter, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Women’s rights and gender justice

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Violations of women’s and LGBTIQ+ rights are intensifying across the Euro-Mediterranean region. A multitude of actors originating from autocratic, illiberal, and even democratic countries are now publicly holding anti-women and anti-LGBTIQ stances.  

These backlashes take multiple forms. Despite the strong mobilisation of women’s rights organisations across the region, many violations seep through the cracks. This year alone, serious backlashes have been noticed across the region. President Erdogan unilaterally withdrew Turkey from the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Egyptian women activists had to mobilise against a revision of the personal status law, which would deprive them of their legal status to conclude a marriage contract or claim guardianship of their children. Tunisian President Kais Saied stressed again his opposition to equality in inheritance, jeopardising the hopes forged by millions of women. 

While political and economic instabilities continue to lead to a reassertion of traditional gender roles, in other parts of the region, women’s rights are being used to present a ‘modern’ facade, hiding away major human rights violations. Unopposed, these stances and opinions slowly seep into legal systems and become laws, durably altering the rights of women and LGBTIQ+ people. 

No violation should go unnoticed 

EuroMed Rights is committed to amplify the voice of women’s rights and LGBTQI+ activists across the region. To do so, the network recently launched a Backlash Monitoring Map. This new tool will provide citizens, civil society organisations, journalists and decision-makers with fact-checked information from trusted civil society sources. Currently focusing on nine countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey), it aims to facilitate the monitoring and advocacy work of activists.  

The Backlash Monitoring Map is a collaborative tool. Activists from each country are invited to share ongoing violations using the dedicated section of the map. These will then be reviewed by EuroMed Rights with the help of its members and partners. Once checked, the backlashes will be published to enable activists to continue their work for women’s rights and LGBTIQ+ people.