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Accepted Paper:

Youth-led Activism for Gender Equality in Post-2011 Jordan: a de-Centralized Mobilization  
Marta Tarantino (University of Naples L'Orientale)

Paper short abstract:

HeforShe, a youth-led movement calling young boys and girls to end gender-based violence in Jordan, shows how, despite de-centralized by their core area, today’s activism and practices of resistance in the country are not marginalized and still influenced by the events of 2011.

Paper long abstract:

Despite not marked by 2011 Arab Spring wave in the same way as its neighboring countries in the region, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is not as static as it seems when it comes to grassroots mobilizations, activism and demands for social reforms. Responsive to that spark of popular initiatives which challenged MENA governments’ status quo, Jordan as well was crossed by several youth-led movements in the immediate aftermath of 2011 upheavals. Bound to the democratic instances advanced by their peers and influenced by a new awareness of social justice, end of corruption and a sharp break with older generations, youth firmly replied to this broader call-to-action in different ways. It is in this context of regional transformation that HeforShe Jordan has appeared: born in 2015 thanks to 24 years old student Laith Abu-Taleb, is the local branch of a UN Women movement for gender equality. HeforShe works for a decisive alignment of the Kingdom with global equality achievements, calling young boys and girls to commit against the persisting gender-based violence and discrimination, nowadays exacerbated by an economic crisis further aggravated by Covid19 pandemic. Starting from the case study of HeforShe as examined during two ethnographic field researches conducted in 2021 and 2022, the paper aims at describing youth activism and practices of resistance eleven years from its quiet revolution within Jordan, a country which despite being de-centralized by the Arab Springs’ core area, is still profoundly influenced by the events of 2011.

Panel P088b
Resisting Marginalization in Times of Crisis: The Politics of Gender, Race, Religion and Age in the MENA region and beyond II
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -