Towards Gender-Sensitive Regulatory Frameworks: Fighting Legal Discrimination against women in MENA countries


29 November 2010, 3.30 – 5.30 pm, OECD Auditorium

Legal discrimination is incompatible with human dignity and hampers development as it constitutes an obstacle to the full realisation of potentials. Ending legal discrimination against women is a particularly complex challenge in the MENA region, where women face multiple legal and systemic restrictions.


Two leading actors of current reforms in the region shared their first-hand experiences when improving the legal status of women:

  • Dr. Zouhair Skander has actively participated in his function as Director General of the Centre for Legal and Judicial Studies in drafting recent legal reforms in Tunisia, which are considered the most advanced in the region in terms of women’s empowerment. 
  • Dr. Soukaina Bouraoui is the Executive Director of the “Center for Arab Women Training and Research”, founding member of the “International Forum of Mediterranean Women”, and founder of the “Centre de Recherches, d’Etudes, de Documentation et d’Information sur la Femme” in Tunis.

The intervention of a specialist for gender-sensitive regulatory impact assessments from Sweden provided a comparative perspective, by drawing on the experiences from one of the most advanced OECD countries in terms of gender equality:

  • Ms. Elisabeth Kristensson is Head of Section in the Division for Market and Competition of the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications.

The speakers spoke in detail about political considerations, available tools, and practical implications, when fighting legal discrimination against women and developing gender-sensitive laws and regulations.


The seminar took place within the framework of the MENA-OECD Gender Focus Group, which supports countries in mainstreaming the gender dimension in public policies and regulatory frameworks.


It built on an analytical framework that relates social impact assessment to gender-sensitive regulatory frameworks, developed by the OECD’s Regulatory Policy Division in partnership with the Centre for Arab Women Training and Research and the Regional Centre of Expertise for Regulatory Quality in Tunis. The OECD Regulatory Policy Committee directs this work on behalf of member countries.


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