Feminism, gender equity and sexual/reproductive health in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

Zeina Jamaleddine, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Sexual/reproductive/health and rights are crucial public health concerns that have been specifically integrated into the Millennium Development Goals to be accomplished by 2015. These issues are related to several health outcomes, including HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) among women. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region comprises Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), West Bank and Gaza (WBG), and Yemen. This region is primarily Arabic speaking (except for Israel and Iran), and primarily Muslim (except for Israel). Some traditional and cultural views and practices in this region engender gender inequalities, which manifest themselves in the economic, political and social spheres. HIV and gender-based violence in the region may be interlinked with gender inequalities which breed justification for partner violence and honour killings, and increase the chance that HIV will transform into an epidemic in the region if not addressed. A feminist framework, focused on economic, political and social empowerment for women would be useful to consider applying to sexual/reproductive health in the region.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Middle Eastern Studies|North African Studies|Public health

Recommended Citation

Jamaleddine, Zeina, "Feminism, gender equity and sexual/reproductive health in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1519890.