Repoliticising Feminism

How are feminists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region reestablishing their revolutionary and highly political stance against patriarchal structures? How are they reaffirming their strong commitment to positively transform societies and create the just world they have imagined for decades?

Across the MENA region and the world, there is growing concern about the depoliticization of feminism. Neoliberal structural adjustment programs have been gradually taming feminist movements across the global south, and many argue that the professionalization and NGOization of feminism have shifted feminist activism away from its core commitment to the eradication of structural oppression toward issue and project-based actions. This has also resulted in feminist movements making demands that conform to neoliberalism, moving ever further away from the needs and aspirations of the majority of women in the region and creating a gap between feminist activism and feminist theory.

In many counties within the region, what has been dubbed "state feminism" has created glass ceilings, limiting the potential for fundamental feminist reforms which might be seen as a threat to the political or socioeconomic status quo. State feminism has undermined feminist movements through the portrayal of women as passive victims, actively reducing spaces for feminist mobilization, and hindering efforts that aim to achieve gender justice at the legislative level.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) supports feminists from across the region who are working toward repoliticizing their movements by producing more accessible feminist knowledge in formats such as podcasts, blogs, and campaigns to bridge the gap between feminist activism and research. The FES also aims to foster cross-border, cross-generational, and intersectional alliances by providing spaces for exchange and solidarity building to realign feminist demands with feminist principles and strategies.


13.06.2024 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Commercializing Womens Bodies - Illustration by Marah Al Houjairy

This article explores how universalized workplace dress codes contribute to the commodification of women’s bodies and perpetuate oppressive systems.


06.06.2024 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
The Shadows of Colonial Legacy

This article examines the persistent struggles that women have endured in pursuit of economic and political empowerment, with attention to the…


30.05.2024 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
No Right to Bodily Autonomy - Illustration

The article asserts that bodily autonomy cannot be fully realized without addressing systemic issues like gender discrimination, capitalism, and…


23.05.2024 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
FES Unidentifying - Illustration

This contribution discusses how German history and identity have shaped the country’s moral orientation toward Israel. There is insufficient space…


16.05.2024 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
FES Weaponizing the Women - Illustration

The article examines the systematic violence against Palestinian women's reproductive health and sexuality, depicting the womb as both a target of…


07.03.2024 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Illustration by Christina Atik

This article highlights the ongoing struggles of migrant domestic workers, focusing on their grassroots organizing efforts, particularly in Lebanon.…


30.11.2023 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Political Feminism and the Case of Palestine

This article aims to examine the depoliticization of feminist movements with a specific focus on Palestine and highlight how and why Palestinian…


06.03.2023 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Illustration by Christina Atik

This article revisits the History of Women’s Day in the world and the MENA region and calls for the re-politicization of IWD.


20.02.2023 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Illustration by Christina Atik

Whenever I grow tired of the heated Twitter discussions, I flee to Instagram to hide there for a while.


30.01.2023 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Illustration by Christina Atik

Looking at the Iranian revolution, this article explores the links between bodily autonomy and authoritarianism from a feminist perspective.


19.01.2023 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Illustration by Christina Atik

Personal choice is problematic in climate justice but relevant to environmental justice. Away from the individual vs. structural dichotomic discourse,…


24.11.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

Feminism is closely linked to economic justice; both are against discrimination, exploitation and marginalisation. Economic justice cannot be achieved…


01.11.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
illustration by Christina Atik

Viany De Marceau wrote "The Dark Passages of Feminism For A Migrant Domestic Worker" as a cry against the kafala system, and a message to other…


17.10.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
 Illustration by Christina Atik

Feminism offers an opportunity to break-free from the glorification of militarism that is driven by patriarchal culture and to truly usher the way…


07.10.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

This article sheds light on issues of migration and asylum. It highlights the violent policies associated with them from an anti-border feminist…


29.08.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Protesting violence against women - Photo: CLAUDIO CRUZ / AFP

Adopting feminist foreign and development policies is becoming a trend in many Global North countries, sparking questions around the co-optation of…


21.07.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

Since their inception in the mid-eighties, and for over more than two decades, Moroccan feminist organizations have been instrumental in advocating…


10.06.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

Women protest denouncing the violence that took place against them at an earlier protest against the military in Sudan.


01.06.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

“I staged a sit-in at home. I hung up posters around the apartment to challenge my parents who would not let me head to Maydan”, recounts a woman in…


26.05.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

This piece explores the ways in which feminist blogging has the potential of re-politicizing feminist movements and offers an overview of the…


09.05.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog
Young Feminist Movements and Funding

Disrupting societal customs and perceptions that legitimize, promote, and conceal violence against women is one of the many goals we seek to…


15.04.2022 | Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

This article takes a critical look at the manifestation of “impostor feminism” in Lebanon today, a form of self-attributed feminism that shies away…


| Repoliticising Feminism | Blog

This essay explores the ways in which Arab feminists are re-politicizing their movement and offers an overview of the strategies that are currently…



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