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Nadje Al-Ali, Zahra Ali, and Isabel Marler

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Reflections on Authoring the Chapter on Young Women for the 2016 Arab Human Development Report

[Cover image of 2016 AHDR]

After a long delay, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has finally published its latest Arab Human Development Report, ADHR 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Development in a Changing Reality. In this text, we would like to share our misgivings with the final product—more specifically the chapter we were involved with as authors, as well as the process that led to its publication. Together, we comprised the team that was tasked to write a chapter on young women ...

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Bio

Nadje Al-Ali, Zahra Ali, and Isabel Marler

 

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London. She has published widely on women and gender in the Middle East as well as transnational migration and diaspora mobilization. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq(2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books) and Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000). Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press) won the 2014 Arab-American book prize for non-fiction. Currently, she is working on a research project about the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Professor Al-Ali is a member of the Feminist Review Collective.

Zahra Ali is a sociologist. Her research explores women and gender issues in relation to Islam and the Middle East, as well as contemporary Muslim communities and Islamisms. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS and a Research Associate at The French Institute for the Near East (IFPO). Her thesis “Women and Gender in Iraq: between Nation-building and Fragmentation” will be published under the same title by Cambridge University Press in Fall 2017. Zahra’s doctoral research explored contemporary Iraqi women’s activism through an in-depth ethnography of post-2003 Iraqi women’s political groups conducted in Baghdad, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah and a socio-historical study of women’s social, economic and political experiences since the formation of the Iraqi state. Zahra carried extensive research among feminist and women’s movements in Muslim majority countries such as Iraq as well as in Europe especially in France where she looked at the emergence of Muslim feminist activism. She edited Féminismes Islamiques, first collection on Muslim feminist scholarship published in France (La Fabrique editions, 2012), translated and published in German (Passagen Verlag, 2014).

Isabel Marler is a feminist activist and researcher based in the United Kingdom. Her work focuses on gender and religion as they intersect with (geo)politics and economics; transnational feminist theory and activism; and progressive communications. She is interested in forms and meanings of solidarity across cultural and geographical borders, and the use of creativity and empathy as forces for change. She is a research associate at the Centre for Gender Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.