Credit: Ebba Tellander, PRIO. Photo: Ebba Tellander

​Women's empowerment is a universal goal. Women's access to education, their full participation in work life, and their political engagement are prerequisites for prosperous and peaceful societies. Yet, the conditions for women's empowerment vary widely, and the obstacles that must be overcome vary accordingly. This is also true within the Middle East, a region where the general trend is that women's empowerment has been lagging behind, but also here with large variations between, as well as within, countries.

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In this seminar we take stock of the situation in the Middle East. PRIO researcher Marianne Dahl, departing from the regional findings in the Women, Peace and Security Index (more about the index here), will speak about trends with a focus on the Middle East. Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi, President of the Emirates Policy Center, will focus on efforts to strengthen women's empowerment, with a focus on the United Arab Emirates. The event will be chaired by Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director of the PRIO Middle East Centre. Following the introductions, there will be questions and comments from the audience.

Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi is the Founder and President of the Emirates Policy Center in Abu Dhabi. She is a professor of political science at United Arab Emirates University and a member of the Consultative Commission of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and a founding member of the Emirates Human Rights Association. Dr. al-Ketbi has held key posts in several commissions and boards in the region and beyond, and she is a widely requested lecturer and media commentator.

Dr. Marianne Dahl is a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). She is a Deputy Editor for Journal of Peace Research. Dahl's major research interests include non-violence, civil war theory, post-conflict stability, political economy and statistical modelling. She is the project leader for the Global Women, Peace and Security Index, a collaboration between PRIO and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.