ECR Webinar: Gender-sensitive social protection, a possible reality in the MENA?

ECR Webinar: Gender-sensitive social protection, a possible reality in the MENA?

The MENA region is characterised by low female labour force participation rates. While generally agreed that social protection is key to promoting women’s economic empowerment in the region, gender-sensitive social protection is a multifaceted concept. The way a programme is politically supported, designed, and programmatically implemented all influence the outcomes. We, therefore, need to understand to what extent social protection schemes are cognisant of the lived experiences of individuals. This requires a critical look at both social assistance and social insurance schemes to understand to what extent existing schemes are able to cover risks across the life cycle accounting for the different roles that men and women take up in society.


We were joined by Dr Maryam Ebrahim and Dr Hania Sholkamy to discuss further what aspects should inform future directions in terms of gender-sensitive social protection in the MENA.


Date: 22nd June 2022

Time: 11.00 AM – 12:30 PM UK time; 12.00 – 13.30 PM Paris time; 13.00 – 14:30 PM Beirut time



*This webinar was organised in the framework of our MENASP ECR Initiative and facilitated by our ECR Representatives; Tamara A. Kool and Noor Alabbas.



Speakers’ Biographies


Dr Hania Sholkamy is an Egyptian anthropologist (PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, The University of London). Her work has focused on gender, health and social protection in Egypt. She designed and piloted the cash transfer programs of the government of Egypt in her capacity as special advisor to the minister of social solidarity. She is a proponent of feminist social protection and has lobbied for the right of women to receive welfare and pensions in their own right and not as dependents. She was regional coordinator of the “Pathways to Women’s Empowerment Research Consortium” in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex, UK. She is currently a member of the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Committee (2019-2022.)


Dr Maryam Ebrahimi holds a PhD in Social Welfare from Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran, Iran. Her PhD thesis focused on ‘Gender Analysis of Social Policy’ in Iran and analysis of gender orientations in employment, education and social security legislation in Iran. In addition, she has undertaken a number of research and has presented several papers on women, family and gender issues. Her main areas of interest include social protection, gender, social exclusion, labour policies and informal workers.




The event is a closed event and will adhere to the Chatham House Rule: When a meeting is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.


The event will be recorded. Only the first part (the presentation) will be shared publicly. The discussion part where we will have questions and comments from the attendees will not be shared publically. We request all attendees to please not turn on their cameras during the first part, your consent will be requested during the registration. Should you change your decision, please contact us at



Who are we targeting?

As it is an ECR event, priority will be given to ECRs. Though if space is available, non-ECRs may join.



ECR Definition

  • Doctoral Researcher/PhD Students
  • Up to 8 working years after successfully completing your PhD
  • Up to 8 working years* as a researcher both in and outside academia (regardless of PhD)
  • Up to 8 working years as a practitioner within the field of social policy

*This accounts for career breaks or those who for other reasons had to slow track their career, e.g. part-time positions etc.

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