Middle East and North Africa Social Policy Network, MENASP

Podcast: ECRs in conversation with Dr Maryam Ebrahimi and Dr Hania Sholkamy: Gender-sensitive Social Protection, A Possible Reality in the MENA?

In this podcast, Tamara A. Kool, our ECR Representative, speaks to Dr Maryam Ebrahimi (Iran) and Dr Hania Sholkamy (Egypt) to discuss what aspects should inform future directions in terms of gender-sensitive social protection 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.