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Overview

For generations, feminists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have fought all types of oppression and discrimination. Joining and leading popular protests of the last decade or so in different MENA countries was part of their ongoing struggle to gain social justice, equality, and better representation in society. A feminist struggle has its own battles and distinct demands even within a national social justice agenda. The popular protests made feminists in the region realise more than ever the importance of having a trans-generational, intersectional, and diverse movement that is capable of continuing old battles and being strong in the face of new challenges. This article is based on reflective conversations with Hayat Mirshad, a feminist activist from Lebanon, during April 2021. These conversations showed that feminist struggles for social justice and equality in MENA have gained knowledge and experience through engaging with popular protests, using new communication tools and approaches, and not shying away from difficult conversations; the most important trends being those of embracing multiple forms of feminisms, working in an intersectional manner, maintaining financial autonomy, addressing the needs and priorities of multiple segments in society, and having new types of leadership that are more collective and participatory.

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10.1080/13552074.2021.1978726

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