The Bioethics Network on Women’s Issues in the Arab region is initiated by UNESCO Cairo Office and experts in the region in view of opening a dialogue on ethical issues surrounding women’s health and welfare in the Arab region and to establish a network among experts and institutions working on these issues in the region and outside the region. Urgent issues to be addressed will be recognized and the activities to promote bioethics in women’s healthcare should be encouraged in the region.

You will find on this blog, articles from different authors, as well as comments and discussion about bioethic issues. You can also find precise information about the network and its contributors in the network page and about the role of UNESCO. Every article posted on this blog is classified by topics, to facilitate browsing. You will find the main article feed on this page, under this post.

Have a good reading.

Posted in Application of bioethical principles in the region, Awareness raising and advocacy, Health care professionals and health care system, Research involving women’s participation, Scientific community and women, Social, cultural and economical impact on women and health, Women’s health related issues | Leave a comment

Celebration of the International Women’s Day at El Sawy CulturalWheel

on 7 March, as a part of the series of celebration for the International Women’s Day in Egypt, Dr Sanaa Batros, a board member of BiNWIAR from Egypt participated in an event organized by the El Sawy Culturalwheel and gave a speech on “Research and development and the need to work within international ethical guidelines”.

During the event, several experts spoke about women’s health related issues and media image of women in Egypt. After the talks, Zumba and Wendo workshops heated up the participants.

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Celebration of the International Women’s Day

8 March is the International Women’s Day and many events are planned during the whole month of March across the region to discuss challenges that women are facing in the Arab region and promote the BiNWIAR.

Please share any activities that you have for celebration of the International Women’s Day in relation to issues that we are addressing in our network.


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Regional Conference “Bioethics Issues for Women: Ethics of Reproductive Health – Social and Political Conditions in Arab Countries”

On 8 February 2014, a regional conference on “Bioethics Issus for Women: Ethics of reproductive health – Social and political conditions in Arab countries” will be organized in Beirut as the first regional activity of the Network after the establishment of the advisory board. During the conference, experts from Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Sudan and Tunisia will give a presentation on challenges surrounding women with regard to reproductive health in their countries. On this occasion, the first advisory board meeting of the BiNWIAR will be held as well in order to adopt a road map of the network to translate various issues identified during the conference into concrete actions.

Bio_ Issues

For more information, please go to:
                  For registration, please email cme@aub.edu.lb or ba45@aub.edu.lb
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BiNWIAR has its logo designed by young talented Eng. Basma Darwish

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Call for Short Stories

Doctors tell their Personal Stories with Patients from a Humanitarian Perspective


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Advisory board of the Network is established

The first advisory board of the Bioethics Network on Women’s Issues in the Arab Region is established in August 2013. The advisory board consists of experts from the Arab countries who function as country focal points of the network as well. The advisory board will soon discuss and prepare a workplan of the network for the year of 2014 – 2015.

Advisory board/Country focal points

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BiNWIAR presented in Kuwait as a successful example of networking

In April 2013, the International Conference on Women in Science and Technology in the Arab Countries was held in Kuwait organized by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. Some of the members of the Bioethics Network on Women’s Issues in the Arab Regions (BiNWIAR) also participated in this conference.

On the second day of the conference, BiNWIAR was presented and well received by the participants. It is referred in an article of SciDveNet as one of the few successful examples of networking in the Arab region.

Please read the article here:


At the closure of the conference, following statement was adopted by the participants.

Kuwait closing statement

Have a nice reading.

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Training for physicians on how to deal with HIV/AIDS patients needed in Yemen

(posted on behalf of Dr Hussun Jezan)

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Yemen’s population is estimated around 22,492,035, of which 67.3% is under the age of 25 years. The country has one of the highest population growth rates globally, with the population expected to double in the next 23 years. Aden, located on the coastal line of the Arabian Sea, is considered as most at-risk to HIV infection, with high rates of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, mobility, and gender disparities place the predominantly young Yemeni nation at risk of HIV infection. Yemen is considered as a low prevalence country with respect to HIV and AIDS. However, it is likely that this low rate hides a much grimmer reality, given the fact that many cases go unreported due to the social stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. it’s when one has tested positive that the problem starts; it then becomes extremely difficult for the afflicted because of discrimination not only in the society but also by healthcare workers in the hospitals and clinics . Even though health personnel have the dual responsibility of providing care and counseling to people with HIV/AIDS and educate individuals and community about the facts related to HIV/AIDS. They act as a role model for their community by providing compassionate and respectful care; and educate individuals and groups about HIV/AIDS.because many people think there is a ‘cure’ for AIDS – which makes them feel safer, and perhaps take risks that they otherwise wouldn’t.

Surveillance research was conducted in Dentistry, Pharmacy and Medical faculty in university of Aden in February 2012 and April2012 to assess knowledge and attitude of the undergraduate students; our future healthcare workers who are the best educate individuals about the facts related to HIV/AIDS. The results of surveillance KAP reveal our students have low level of essential knowledge of HIV/AIDS , have negative attitude towards PLWH and there is also a misconception that keeping silent and do nothing is a way of helping PLWH.

Such Ignorance among undergraduate student can act as an impediment in the care of AIDS patients which may pose a great problem in future. These are the people who can build the right platform wherein doctors and experts on HIV can provide further knowledge.

AIDS Awareness Centre and Scientific Research (AACR) was established by a decision of the Faculty Council issued by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.The objective of the centre is to participating in society awareness, and decrease HIV percentage level, aware the new generation of the physicians to provide best health service. Improve the quality of the health services by seminars and workshops about updating HIV/AIDS by local and international experts. Targeting group is medical dentist, and pharmacist students , teaching academic staff, internship doctors (physicians teaching and non teaching hospital and health medical staff (Nurses and technicians).

In order to achieve this goal, we are looking for collaboration through this network to help our center. What we need is trainers with expertise in:

1. Improving  the quality of the health services of PLWH by  seminars and workshops  and updating HIV/AIDS by experts.

2. Enlightening and educating the physicians on how to deal with HIV/AIDS in the  out patients and clinics.

Also we want to receive experiences from other who already have such centers in MENA region since this is the only center in Yemen until now.

Associate Prof. Dr Hussun Saeed Jezan

Aids Awareness Center and Scientific Research

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

University of Aden


aidsawarenesscenter.aden@gmail.com or drhussunsaeed@gmail.com

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Call for nominations of advisory board members/country focal points for the Bioethics Network on Women’s Issues in the Arab Region (BiNWIAR) by 30 June 2013

The “Advisory Board” of the network will be for the first time established. Nomination of the advisory board members (including self nomination) will be open to all members of the network by 30 June 2013.

Advisory board is composed of country focal points therefore, selection of advisory board members means the selection of country focal points at the same time.

What are the functions of the advisory board members/country focal points?

As an advisory board member:

  • develop strategies for functioning of the network (e.g. communication strategy, fundraising strategy, etc.) in coordination with the secretariat.
  • closely work with the secretariat to discuss and give advice about any challenges  related to the work and the function of the network .
  • prepare 2 years work plan of the network in consultation with the secretariat.
  • approve bi-annual report on the current situation surrounding women and emerging issues in the region (compiling the contribution from each   member of the board).
  • initiate dialogues on women’s health related issues in the Arab region among the members.
  • contribute for fundraising opportunities by seeking research funding             opportunities and mobilizing available resources in the region.
  • encourage and assist the development of the capacity of the network members.
  • approve the establishment of required Ad Hoc Committees contribute to            nominating appropriate members for the committees.

As a country focal point:

  • develop contacts in their country by identifying and inviting individuals and institutions working in the field of women’s issues to the network.
  • regularly contact the members in their countries to receive information related to the interest of the network and providing them to the secretariat of the network.
  • plan activities of the network in their countries in coordination with the other members of the network and the secretariat.
  • be in charge of negotiating the hosting government/institution when the network conference or any other activities is organized in their countries.

Who can be an advisory board member/a country focal point?

Anybody who is a member of the BinWIAR who is active and committed to the above functions is eligible to be nominated or nominate themselves.

How many Advisory Board Members/Country Focal Points will be selected?

The number of the advisory board members/country focal points is different from country to country depending on the population size of the country.


Number of advisory board members/country focal points
Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, U.A.E., Jordan, Tunisia, Libya, Palestine


Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco




 What is the procedure of selecting the advisory board members?

1. Recommendation or an expression of interest (in case of self nomination) shall be sent by e-mail to o.ikebe@unesco.org by 30 June 2013 stating 1) full name, 2) title and affiliation, 3) contact information (at least e-mail address), 4) country of nominating person.

Example 1. (recommendation)

I recommend Dr XXX, Professor of XXX University to be an advisory board member of the network and a country focal point of (name of the country). His contact information is (xxx@……)

Example 2. (self nomination)

I, Ms XXXX, Researcher of XXXX institute would like to nominate myself to be an advisory board member of the network and a country focal point of (name of the country).  My contact information is  xxx@……

Any further information (recommendation letters, motivation letters) to justify the nomination will be helpful for the selection.

2. If the number of the nomination does not exceed the quota of the country, the Secretariat will contact the nominated persons and receive their confirmation to take the role of an advisory board member/country focal point.

If the number of the nomination exceeds the quota in certain countries, a decision will be made by the previous advisory board members (for its first establishment, the taskforce group members) in coordination with the secretariat.

How long the term of the advisory board members/country focal points?

The term of the advisory board members/country focal points is 3 years, from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015, one time renewable.

When it turned out that the appointed advisory board members/country focal points can no longer take their responsibilities during the term, they should contact the Secretariat for resignation however, it does not affect the membership of the network. When there is a vacant seat in the advisory board/country focal points, it can be filled anytime by the same procedure mentioned above.

Please send your nomination to o.ikebe@unesco.org by 30 June 2013

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The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (IJFAB) Calls for Papers on “Just Food: Bioethics, gender, and the ethics of eating”

IJFAB is the official publication of the International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB) and it provides new forum within bioethics for feminist thought and debate. Currently a call for papers for its next volume is advertised.

Vol 8, No. 2: JUST FOOD: Bioethics, gender, and the ethics of eating

The deadline for submission for this issue is April 1, 2014.

Editor: Mary C. Rawlinson

Western ethics rarely makes eating a main theme. Food belongs to the often invisible domain of women’s labor. While obesity, malnourishment, and lack of access to clean water are regularly cited as global factors in mortality and morbidity, bioethics, even feminist bioethics, gives little attention to culinary practices, water rights, or agricultural policy or to their effects on the status of women and the health of communities.

What and how we eat determines not only our health, but also our relation to other animals, the forms of social life, the gender division of labor, and the integrity of the environment. If hunger is the hallmark of poverty, obesity and obesity-related diseases are ironically afflicting the poor at alarming rates. Hunger also attends war, violence, and catastrophic environmental events; thus, thinking ethically about food engages issues of war and peace, as well as calling into question the global dependence on fossil fuels. Food can reflect social inequity or economic independence and social justice. It can preserve cultural integrity or yield to the homogenizing force of global capital. Food encompasses the full range of issues arising at the intersection of health and justice.

The Editorial Office of IJFAB invites submissions for JUST FOOD: bioethics, gender, and the ethics of eating, vol. 8.2. Essays may investigate any aspect of the ethics of eating, particularly as it relates to health and gender.

Women are disproportionately responsible for food around the world, yet they are globally underrepresented in the ownership of property or decisions about land use or in determining environmental or food policy. As the spike in obesity among women and children in “low-income” countries under the shift to global food indicates, women, like other vulnerable and underrepresented populations, are disproportionately affected by the globalization of food, as well as by environmental degradation and climate change.

Research suggests, however, that women are also “key drivers of change,” necessary to improving food production and consumption, as well as environmental health in any community. “If you pull women out, there will be no sustainable development.” (Report of Regional Implementation Meeting for Asia and Pacific Rim, Jakarta, 2007.)

IJFAB 8.2 will investigate the bioethical problems that result from the industrialization and globalization of agriculture, as well as the role of feminist bioethics in reimaging agriculture and our culinary practices to be more life-sustaining and to better promote justice, community health, and agency for each and all. Only very recently have large populations been able to eat without any knowledge of how their food is produced. This issue explores the question of our responsibility for what and how we eat, as well as global responsibilities for hunger and diet-related disease.

Possible areas of research include:

  • hunger      and poverty
  • hunger      and violence
  • consumption      and health
  • immobility,      obesity, and agency
  • animal      rights
  • environmental      ethics
  • ethics      of land and water policies
  • agricultural      policy and economic independence
  • scale      in farming
  • food      security
  • sustainability
  • local      vs. global food
  • geopolitics      of food
  • food      as commodity
  • biotechnology
  • food      and labor
  • eating      and culture
  • the      aesthetics of food
  • food      and community.

All papers must be submitted in IJFAB style. Please consult this page for style guidelines. Authors who plan to submit are encouraged to contact the Editor ahead of time.

For more information, please visit the website of IJFAB: http://www.ijfab.org/


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