Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Convenings

MENA Virtual Regional Convenings: Save the Date


Panel 1: Intersectional and Survivor-Based Approaches to Violence Against Women and Girls

Date: 23 May at 14:30-15:45 Cairo time

Key Questions: How can we ensure that survivor-based approaches to Violence Against Women and Girls is intersectional? In particular, how can we mainstream the needs of people with disabilities in these approaches? What work on disabilities and gender-based violence is being done in the region?

Leading Organization: World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Hala Sakr and Anna Ronzoni

Opening remarks:

  • Heba Katoon-Manager, Conference Communications, Women Deliver
  • Myriam Sfeir-Director, The Arab Institute for Women, LAU


  • Anna Rita Ronzoni (moderator)-Technical Officer, Gender-Based Violence, WHO
  • Dr. Hala Sakr-Regional Adviser, Violence, Injuries and Disabilities; Department of Healthier Populations
  • Arwa Hany-Regional Director, International Federal Medical Student Association
  • Dr. Grace Khawam-Lecturer, Department of Health Promotion & Community Health, AUB
  • Dr. Aziza Khalidi-Researcher and Activist

Panel 2: Legal Realities of Gender Equality and the Struggle for Reform

Date: 29 May at 16:00-17:30 Beirut Time via Webex.

Theme/Guiding Questions: What are the strategies of gender equality and women’s rights advocates from around the region regarding legislative reform? How are they fighting back against the growing trend of anti-feminist backlash?

Leading Organization: AiW


  • Opening Remarks: Heba Katoon, Communications Manager, Conference & Convenings, Women Deliver
  • Alanoud Al Sharekh, Regional consultant; advocate and founder of #Abolish153 campaign in Kuwait
  • Manal Benkirane, UN Women Regional Evaluating Violence Against Women [EVAW] Expert
  • Diana Moukalled, co-founder & managing editor of Daraj
  • Zoya Rouhana, KAFA

Panel 3: Bodily Autonomy, SRHR, & Community Approaches to SRHR

Date: 5 June (Time forthcoming)

Key Question: How can we tailor global best practices for GBV to the local context in the Arab region? How are local organizations and communities driving survivor support systems and advocating for change in the region?

Leading Organization: Marsa (Lebanon)


Panel 4: Rights-Based Advocacy for Gender Equality in Crisis (Focus on Women’s Empowerment and Child Outcomes)

Date: Time and Date forthcoming

Leading Organization: IRC


Panel 5: Gender Equality Activism: Youth Leaders and Organizations from around the Region

Date: Time and Date forthcoming

Key Questions: What are the areas of focus that feminist youth advocates and leaders are working on in the region today? How are they mainstreaming gender equality in their work?

Panel Leaders/Organizers: Suad Yusuf and Weema Askri


  • Melissa El Feghali, Gender Co-Lead and Youth Advocate, World Scouts Organization
  • Zahraa Dirany, Bodily Autonomy and Gender Rights expert
  • other speakers to be confirmed

Meet the Women Deliver 2023 MENA Regional Steering Committee Members

The Arab Institute for Women (AiW) at the Lebanese American University (LAU) is the Chair of the MENA Regional Convenings for Women Deliver 2023. 

The Arab Institute for Women, previously known as the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW), was established in 1973, building upon the Lebanese American University’s rich history as a school for women. At that time, it was the first such institute in the Arab world and it remains the only one of its kind in Lebanon. It is also among the first globally. The Institute’s mission is to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality nationally, regionally and globally through research, education, development programs, and outreach. AiW works at the intersection of academia and activism.

AiW is collaborating closely with Marsa Sexual Health Center, a non-profit, non-governmental body organized under the laws of Lebanon, whose mission is to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services and education in a safe, non-discriminatory, confidential and inclusive environment.

Anchored on collective collaboration, extensive experience in gender equality and bringing advocates from community-based and youth-led organizations, academia, and sector partners across the MENA Region, the steering committee offers technical support in preparation of the Regional Convening, during and after WD2023 Conference. Meet the other steering committee members below.

Meet the Steering Committee Members:

If you would like to get in touch with the MENA Regional Convening Partners regarding their planned activities or potential collaboration? Kindly write to: