SOAS University of London

SOAS Economists and LMEI Host First Workshop on Dynamics of Gender Inequality in MENA and South Asia

3 July 2017

Principal Investigator: Massoud Karshenas (SOAS)
Co-Investigators: Hanna Bargawi (SOAS), Hassan Hakimian (SOAS), Naila Kabeer (LSE), Valentine M. Moghadam (Northeastern University, Boston), Ravi Srivastava (JNU, Delhi).

On 9 and 10 June, the London Middle East Institute hosted the first international workshop for this strategic research network with around 35 participants from partner institutions in the MENA region, Europe and South Asia. This was an ideal start to the activities of the group of experts whose work will identify innovative disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research agendas on female labour and dynamics of inequality in developing countries, helping to shape the direction of future funding for the ESRC GCRF funding window.

The project is led by Professor Massoud Karshenas through an ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund grant. 

The network focuses on eight countries in the three regions of the Middle East (Iran, Turkey), North Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia), and South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka).  Southern Europe is included for comparative purposes. The network consists of researchers who have made major contributions to the understanding of gender and social inequality in their respective regions as well as non-academic participants from developing countries and relevant international institutions. 

Activities include three workshops, the formation of thematic working groups, the production of research briefs, and a final report offering innovative research agendas on gender and the dynamics of inequality. The overriding objective is to provide the opportunity to formulate more comprehensive theories and methodologies for longer-term investigation by the network and other researchers and to create an infrastructure for continuing research.

GCRF Photo June 2017

Members of the network Dynamics of Gender Inequality in the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe, and South Asia, gather for a group photo following the 9-10 June 2017 workshop, which brought together 35 academics from across the four regions to discuss (a) the interplay of economic structures, policies and institutions as the determinants of women’s access to employment, and (b) patterns of women’s economic participation as key drivers of inequality and sustainability of development.

For further information, contact Professor Massoud Karshenas, Department of Economics SOAS, ( or see

GCRF Logos