TNA Webinar Video: The Gendered Impact of Covid-19: Cases from Lebanon, Syria and Palestine

TNA Webinar Video: The Gendered Impact of Covid-19: Cases from Lebanon, Syria and Palestine
Our webinar series hosts live discussions on issues related to the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and beyond
3 min read
26 May, 2020
Webinar series bringing you live discussions from the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and beyond
Covid-19 has exacerbated many structural problems in the MENA region, throwing already fragile states, embattled economies, and restive societies into deeper turmoil. Reflecting the deeply rooted inequality in the region, the impact of the pandemic has not been uniform across the region, hitting vulnerable segments, including women and refugees, disproportionately harder.

Gender-based marginalization and structural, economic, and physical violence endemic to many parts of the MENA region have been compounded by the invisible viral pandemic. The often strict lockdown measures it has triggered means many women are left trapped with abusers without recourse to shelter or assistance, while many others, despite already being responsible for most thankless unpaid labour as parents or carers in free-falling economies, are now struggling to cope with the added weight of the novel coronavirus.

This recorded live discussion focused on the specific ways in which Covid-19 has disproportionately affected women in the Levant subregion of MENA, and what some feminist groups have been doing to improve women’s resilience since the start of the pandemic.

Watch the video below or click here for an audio only version

Lina Abou-Habib is an expert in mainstreaming gender in development policies and practices and in building capacities for gender mainstreaming in regional and international agencies as well as public institutions. She is currently a Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (American University of Beirut).  She also serves as the Chair of the Collective for Research and Training of Development-Action and is a Strategic MENA Advisor for the Global Fund for Women.  She is a member of the editorial board of the Gender and Development journal published by Oxfam and Routledge. She holds an M.A. in Public Health from American University in Beirut.

Maria Al Abdeh is a feminist researcher and Executive Director of Women Now For Development (WND). Maria has a PhD in Microbiology. She joined Women Now for Development in November 2013  and since then she accompanied the growth of the organization to become the largest network of women empowerment centers inside Syria and the neighboring countries and participated in many campaigns and conferences to reach out the voices of the most vulnerable women to the media, activists and decision makers, and focuses on women and conflict and women rights in the MENA region. In March 2016 Maria received the Award of Feminine Success in France, and together with WND received in May 2016 the Award of ‘Delivering Lasting Change’ for commitment to Justice and Dignity from CARE international.

Soheir Asaad is a political and feminist Palestinian activist, and an organizer in the "Tal'at Movement" – a Palestinian political feminist movement. Launched in September 2019 under the slogan “There is no free homeland without free women”, Tal’at seeks to build Palestinian, de-fragmented feminist solidarity and activism across the whole of historic Palestine and the diaspora community. Asaad is also a human rights advocate and has a Masters degree in Law (LL.M.) with Honors from the Center for Civil & Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame (US), with a focus on international human rights law.

Danya Hajjaji is a journalist at The New Arab. She previously served as Patti Birch Fellow for Middle East Research at the Committee to Protect Journalists. Danya earned her MS in Journalism from Columbia University and her BA in Media and Communications from the University of Sussex.

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