Social justice—a fundamental value of social democracy and a central field of action for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in the region is inextricably linked with gender justice. Social and economic development can only be made sustainable and just if the needs of different genders are taken into account. For us, gender justice is "the freedom to choose different ways of being and living based on equal distribution of resources, equal possibilities to exert influence, and equal respect regardless of gender."
In the MENA region, economic, political, and social structures and policies are heavily influenced by patriarchal norms and structures, which hinder access to rights and resources, as well as to decision-making powers for women and other gender groups.
A gendered perspective can only be taken into consideration if feminists, as well as women and individuals from different gender identity groups, are equally involved and represented in reform and decision-making processes. This also applies to the development of just and sustainable strategies for conflict resolution. We adopt an intersectional approach in our work and believe that it is only through understanding existing power structures and how gender-based discrimination intersects with racism and classism, as well as the impact this has on different groups of women and different genders, that we will be able to challenge these systems and advocate for transformative and sustainable change.
The FES seeks to advance gender justice in the region by working with our partners on campaigning against gender discrimination, proposing and debating relevant reforms, and providing a regional-level platform for exchange between various feminist activists and civil society organizations. We also work with different partners on raising awareness and advocating for reforms to protect the rights of different groups of women, including migrant domestic workers, across the region.