‘The Arab Awakening and Gender’ at Rice’s Baker Institute Feb. 21

Leading experts from the worlds of social media, journalism, entrepreneurship, law, politics and social activism will gather Feb. 21 at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy to discuss the challenges and opportunities that women in the Middle East and North Africa face today amid the events of the Arab Awakening.

Hosted by the institute’s Kelly Day Endowment on the Status of Women and Human Rights in the Middle East, the conference, “The Arab Awakening and Gender: Challenges and Opportunities for Women,” will be from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Baker Hall’s Doré Commons. The goal of the conference is for participants to propose recommendations for empowering women in the region and developing leadership opportunities.

Participants in panel discussions will be:

  • Malika Benradi, international attorney and law professor at the Faculty of Law Rabat Agdal, Morocco.
  • Judge Kholoud al-Faqeeh, first female Sharia law judge in Ramallah, Palestine.
  • Hatoon Al Fassi, women’s historian, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Nabila Hamza, president of the Foundation for the Future, Tunisia.
  • Lina Ben Mehnni, cyberactivist and blogger (“A Tunisian Girl”), Tunisia.
  • Nabila Ramdani, columnist, The Guardian, Algeria.
  • Neveen El Tahri, founder and chairperson of Delta Shield for Investments and first woman to sit on the Egyptian Stock Exchange board.
  • Nayla Tueni, prominent Lebanese journalist, CEO of the An Nahar newspaper and member of the Lebanese parliament.

Panel moderators will be Dina Alsowayel, associate director of women’s studies at the University of Houston, and Daisy Khan, director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. Edward Djerejian, founding director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, will give welcoming remarks.

Conference organizers have set up a Twitter handle where those unable to attend can participate in the discussion by tweeting questions to @lebasik. Submissions will be accepted through Feb. 19, and organizers will select some to be read during the event’s question-and-answer sessions.

To view the complete event information, including speaker biographies, visit www.bakerinstitute.org/events/the-arab-awakening-and-gender-challenges-and-opportunities-for-women. For more information about the Kelly Day Endowment on the Status of Women and Human Rights in the Middle East, see www.bakerinstitute.org/programs/women-and-human-rights-in-the-middle-east.

A live webcast will be available at http://bakerinstitute.org/webcasts.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.