Women in Public Life

Gender, Law and Policy in the Middle East and North Africa

image of Women in Public Life

Public institutions play a critical role in promoting gender-sensitive policies and gender equality more broadly, in the MENA region and around the world. Advancing gender balance in public institutions and public life more generally, including the judiciary, parliaments, and the political executive constitutes a major step towards gender-responsive policies and non-discrimination and serves as a key milestone in promoting gender equality. This report provides a comparative overview of the policies affecting women’s participation in public life across the MENA region. It examines the existing barriers to women’s access to public decision-making positions, and provides a cross-country assessment of current instruments and institutions to advance women’s empowerment in the MENA region. The report undertakes an analysis of the existing legal barriers for gender equality in public life, including with regard to political and economic rights, freedom of movement, labour law, family law, access to justice and gender-based violence and provides focused policy-recommendations to close legal and institutional gaps. The report has been prepared by the OECD, in partnership with Centre for Arab Women Training and Research (CAWTAR) and with the support of the Arab Administrative Development Organisation (ARADO) and covers the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


MENA government tools for gender equality

This chapter discusses the strategic state capacities and institutions necessary to promote gender equality in the MENA region. It is mainly based on the MENA-OECD Survey on National Gender Frameworks, Gender Public Policies and Leadership in the MENA region. The chapter notes that most MENA countries have adopted national strategies for gender equality, which reflects the political commitment to the empowerment of women. Yet, those strategies tend to focus on traditional areas, including health, education and social protection. The chapter also assesses the quality of institutional frameworks for promoting gender equality in the region and underlines the need for strengthening oversight and monitoring of the implementation of the gender equality agenda. Finally, the chapter provides an overview of the mechanisms used in the MENA region to promote a co-ordinated and whole-of-government approach to gender equality and outlines a set of good practices and recommendations to support governments in advancing the gender equality agenda in their countries.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error