Re-politicizing the Arab feminist movement

  • Illustration by Dina Fawakhiri & Mohammed Zatari
    Illustration by Dina Fawakhiri & Mohammed Zatari

How do we, as Arab feminists, reinstate our revolutionary and highly political stance against patriarchal structures? How do we reaffirm our central commitment to positively transform societies and form the just world which we have envisioned for decades?

Across the MENA region and the world, there is growing concern around the de-politicization of feminism. For years, neoliberal Structural Adjustment Programs have been slowly taming the feminist movement across the globe. Many argue that the professionalization and NGO-ization of feminism have shifted feminist activism from its core commitment to eradicate structural oppression to issue and project-based feminist actions. Moreover, in many counties within the region, so-called “state feminism” has created glass ceilings which limited the potential for fundamental feminist reforms that might be seen as a threat to the political or socio-economic status quo.

Feminists from across the globe have indicated that the production of feminist knowledge, bridging the gap between feminist activism and research, the formation of cross-border alliances between feminist actors and other social justice actors as well as fostering cross-generational feminist exchange all provide an opportunity for contributing the re-politicization of feminist movements. FES aims to support such activities implicitly and explicitly through its work with partners from across the region.


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Department for Middle East and North Africa
FES Berlin
Hiroshimastraße 28
10785 Berlin


About FES 

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has a network of eleven country offices in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and implements projects in a total of 14 countries. Some offices, such as Egypt or Sudan, look back at a history of more than 40 years of cooperation.

Offices in the Region