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

Khormakser or

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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 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 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:


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International conference on Women in Science and Technology in the Arab Countires will be held in Kuwait in April

First announcement

International conference on Women in Science and Technology in the Arab

Countries, April 21-23, 2013.

 Venue: Kuwait City, Kuwait



The conference is organized by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) in collaboration with the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). The organizers of this conference are looking forward to welcome you to Kuwait for this important meeting.


This conference is organized to bring women in the Arab countries together to discuss how to foster women’s contribution to science and technology. Invited speakers representing women in the Arab countries as well as other regions will highlight topics related to science and technology, health and the environment as well as gender issues and leadership.


The conference targets women scientists in academia, research institutes, industry, or governmental organizations. In particular women at an early stage in their scientific career are encouraged to participate.

Main Conference Themes

  • Women, leadership and gender issues
  • Women and health
  • Women, science and technology in the Arab world
  • Women and environmentally sustainable development

Abstracts and Manuscripts

  • Submission of abstracts by 7 December 2012
  • Abstracts will be selected for oral or poster presentations by 31 December 2012
  • Submission of full manuscripts for oral presentations by 31 March 2013
  • All abstracts will be published in a book of abstracts.
  • Manuscripts will be published in conference proceedings.

Guidelines for abstract submission

1.  Please prepare your abstract in English, using single line spacing and Times New Roman font size 12. Abstracts  should be submitted as word documents.

2.  The maximum word count is 300, excluding title, authors’ names and affiliations.

3.  The name of the presenting author should be underlined. Please include full contact details for this author and a short CV in a cover letter/e-mail message.

4.  Please prepare a structured abstract including the following sub headings:

a)  Background

b) Materials and methods

c)  Results

d) Conclusions

5.  Abstracts will be reproduced in the book of abstracts as received.

6.  Please send your abstract and contact information of the presenting author to

Organizing committee: Dr Afaf Al-Nasser, KISR  (chair)

Scientific committee: Mrs. Suad Al Hooti, KISR (chair)

For more information, please contact the conference Secretary

Mr. Abdul Mutalab Sardar Al-Fraydoon : E-mail:

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Encyclopedia on the Arab Women’s Status in Legislation launched by the League of Arab States

Posted by Bahaa Darwish (Prof. of Philosophy, Qatar University)

The League of Arab States has launched- in Arabic- an encyclopedia entitled” the position of the Arab Woman as shown in the Legislations of the various Arab Countries”. The encyclopedia is divided into four volumes: the woman position as expressed in the various Arab Constitutions, Immigration laws and Personal Status, Civil and Criminal Law, and finally Laws expressing her rights for work, for political participation, for social security, for education and trade.

The merit of such encyclopedia is that it gives an objective reflection of the situation of the Arab women in their various States, her rights and duties in various life issues through official documents. It also helps researchers and those interested in the Arab women’s issues have a ready official document at hand that can be relied on in assessing her current situation.

Useful as it is, this encyclopedia should be translated, at least, into English to be also in the hand of non-Arab researchers to give their feedback about its comprehensiveness and the extent to which the Arab women got their full rights, since not only Arab people are interested in recognizing the real situation of the Arab woman as reflected in the official constitutions and laws.

Posted in Laws and regulations, Policy and law on Women related issues, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Rural women in Egypt: Can we afford to neglect them

From the blog of Ahmed Awadalla, Researcher in Civil Liberties Program, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Coordinator, Y-Peer Egypt.

Various groups and minorities in Egypt are discriminated against and marginalized. With all the mobilization and debate happening in this post-revolution phase, one group has got very little attention and spotlight. Which group in Egypt suffers from highest rates of illiteracy; bears the heavy burden of utmost poverty; lack essential healthcare greatly jeopardizing their lives; and is not represented in our new parliament at all?

The answer is rural women. This is certainly not a simple minority group as rural females make up about a quarter of Egypt’s 82-million population. However, rural women are not a homogeneous group; they live in different regions and have different socioeconomic conditions. In this light, the most disadvantaged group would be poor, rural women living in Upper Egypt.

Photo Credit: Blog

Not only rural women do not get enough attention, but rural Egypt as a whole. Despite all the debates brought up during the revolution, little we knew of its impact on rural Egypt. Media outlets keep an urban eye to whatever going on despite evidence of a lot of mobilization happening on the rural front. We do know, however, that rural communities had a sense of solidarity with Tahrir Square, but they couldn’t fully participate because of the need to look after their lands or simply because they could not afford transport. However, there were growing concerns because of the rising costs that seriously undermines the agricultural process and the deteriorating security situation within the villages. In general, there was a sense of a need to put rural issues on the agenda and that reform has to reach the countryside.

The past regimes always asserted that farmers are on top of the development agenda, while the reality was that they worked on undermining the situation and rights of farmers. While Nasser’s regime sided with the villagers and worked to end feudalism and monopoly (despite other flaws), the neoliberal policies introduced in Sadat’s era placed higher value on exporting goods and joining the global market at the expense of local self-sufficiency; and this persisted through Mubarak’s time.

If we go back to look at rural women and their conditions, we’ll soon find out how they fall at the bottom of all welfare indicators. Only 66% of adults are literate in Egypt; Women living in rural areas are most likely to miss school or get the least years of education either for economic or cultural reasons, whereas the sons’ education is prioritized. Missing education is a major barrier for rural women as it shapes their potential; and illiteracy limits their life options such as economic opportunities and health status.

When we look at working conditions, we find that rural women play a crucial role in agriculture and rural development; however they get the least benefit from that process. Women perform many agriculture-related activities and mostly don’t get paid for it. This does not exempt them from the household chores they have to take care of besides their production. Although 41% of people working in agriculture and fisheries in Egypt are women, their right to own land is violated, mostly due to traditions enforced by family and community, and this is a worldwide problem not only in our region. With the increasing male migration to urban areas, more women are in charge of households and face extra burdens to maintain their livelihood.

Sadly too, rural women’s health is much at risk. They usually suffer from malnutrition despite her contribution to the production of food, but they usually favor giving most of the food share to her family. Additionally, they work long exhausting hours in the home and outside and they do not get sufficient health care. The highest fertility rates exist among rural women while they risk losing their lives during pregnancy and delivery because of the lack of access to adequate health services. It’s needless to say that they suffer most from patriarchal values. One of the mortifying realities is that the prevalence of female genital mutilation is highest in rural Upper Egypt and reaches 95% of women despite the ban and the efforts to eradicate this practice.

Rural women are also excluded from the decision making process. They don’t have representation on the local (agricultural associations, etc.) or national level (government, parliament, etc.). We don’t hear those women’s stories and they’re not empowered to advocate for their causes. We need to direct more attention to those women and their lives. New Women Foundation and Rising Voices has ran this project to convey the voices of rural women, listen to their stories!

With the dire conditions facing rural women (not only in Egypt but in various world regions), we need to reevaluate our priorities. The United Nations has chosen rural women as this year’s theme for International Women’s Day to help highlight the cause. Mervat El Tallawy, the newly-elected president of the recently-revived National Women’s Council presented a statement on the topic at the 56th session of the UN Commission on the status of women, and pledged to push their issue to the top of the agenda. Would those promises be realized? How much more can we afford to ignore rural women and rural issues in general while half of our population lives in rural areas?

The writer Maria Golia has made the case for the rural side of Egypt in her recent article.

“In the absence of intelligent top-down strategies, change must come from the bottom up. Egypt’s revolution began in cities, but the nation’s life literally relies on its grassroots. Think of this next time you slice a tomato: Unless Egypt’s head remembers its body, its stomach will go empty and it will lose its heart.”

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Women’s body and biomedical intervention – Conference in Tunisia

Dear All Members,

Women’ s day passed almost unnoticeably in Hungary.

But in December we had a very fruitful conference in Tunisia on the women’s body and biomedical interventions. Please click on this link to read the Program (in French): Plaquette Intervenants CORPS DE LA FEMME.13.09.11

Two books will be prepared from this workshop, one in French and one in English (Brussels: Bruylant, 2012-2013).

I am sure it will be interesting to everyone from this Network.

Best wishes,

Judit Sandor, Director of the Center for Ethics and Law in Biomedicine, Hungary, Professor, Central European University (CELAB), Budapest.

Posted in Application of bioethical principles in the region, Awareness raising and advocacy, Health care professionals and health care system | Leave a comment

Psychological Health & Awareness Society offer training in Egypt

Dear All members of the network, I would like to share this information with that can be of interest.

Psychological Health & Awareness Society in Egypt (PHASE) is offering a Rehabilitation Training for 15 women treated by PHASE team for violence, started at the beginning of the month. This training is offered by professionals volunteering during a whole month to enable these women to acquire self awareness and empowerment hrough many awareness and training session that will help them to become active members of the society and to prevent their relapse.

On this occasion, Dr. Ehab M. Soliman, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University will give a lecture on Thursday 15th March on “Reproductive health awareness”.

For more information, check this page:

Posted in Awareness raising and advocacy, Reproductive Health Education, Violence against women | 1 Comment