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The WPS Agenda and the Middle East: Progress or Procrastination?

Thursday 30 March 2023
Online via Zoom

Women in International Security Netherlands (WIIS NL) organise an online event via Zoom on Thursday 30 March at 17:30 hrs., to discuss the status of WPS in the Middle East. Join us to discuss this important topic!

How is the WPS Agenda understood in the Middle East?

The WPS Agenda is spreading globally with 104 states producing national action plans to date. While Europe and Africa have spearheaded the implementation of the WPS Agenda, the Middle East has often been neglected in discussions of Resolution 1325.  Currently, eight states in the Middle East have women peace and security action plans: Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen, Palestine, Morocco and Iraq. How is the WPS Agenda understood in the Middle East? What challenges do practitioners face when implementing the WPS Agenda? Is the WPS Agenda contributing to greater gender equality in the region?

At WIIS NL we invited three women who engage with the WPS Agenda from different angles: as a security practitioner; a peacemaker and an academic. We asked them to help us answer the above questions.


Commander Ella van den Heuvel

Commander Ella van den Heuvel

Commander Ella van den Heuvel (Dutch Armed Forces) has over 15 years’ experience in the field of Women, Peace & Security, on strategic, operational and tactical level. Ella is currently deployed as a military Gender Adviser in Palestine.

Drs. Mekka Abdelgabar

Drs. Mekka Abdelgabar

Drs. Mekka Abdelgabar is the founder of the Women's Organization Netherlands-Darfur (VOND), a consultant, entrepreneur, and expert in WPS. She aims to empower women leaders and young people and promote peace as Women Mediator in Sudan.





Dr Bilge Sahin

Dr Bilge Sahin is an assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University. She is also a research associate in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS University of London. Sahin received her PhD from SOAS University of London. She is the author of Sexual Violence Crimes and Gendered Power Relations: Bringing Justice to Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Routledge, 2020) and has published her research in various high-impact academic journals. Her academic work critically engages with armed conflict, peace, and security from a gendered perspective in Africa and the MENA region. She is a member of the British International Studies Association (BISA) and the Women in Foreign Policy Initiative in Turkey.


As this event will be online, please register via this link so we can send you the details of the Zoom meeting.


Should you have any questions, you can contact Maisy Charles (ro@wiis-nl.com) or Fleur de Braaf (eventsdirector@wiis-nl.com). 

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