8 December 2021
Professor Dina Matar, Director, Centre for Global Media and Communication contributed to the 2021 Anna Lindh annual report on the Intercultural Trends and Social Change in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. In the paper, Matar explores the ways in which intercultural dialogue can support women’s empowerment within the confines of religious and cultural value systems. Dina Matar argues that, whilst attitudes towards women holding public roles appear to be progressing in countries such as Mauritania and Lebanon, our analysis should move away from a narrow public vs private binary and consider women’s own differential understandings of what it means to be ‘empowered’.
The Anna Lindh Foundation Intercultural Trends Report presents analysis based on data from the fourth wave of the Intercultural Trends Survey – a study carried out across the Euro-Mediterranean to measure cross-cultural trends and social change. This unique public opinion polling exercise was carried out in eight European countries and five countries bordering the Southern and Eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea (SEM). The survey was carried out at a time of unique relevance for the Euro-Mediterranean region, where problems persist around polarisation, mistrust, youth unemployment and, in some cases, hate speech. Social changes related to migration, growing digital connectivity, climate change and – as witnessed during the current COVID-19 pandemic – health, are interconnected and global in nature. Intercultural dialogue and cooperation remain key to navigating this changing world, and reliable data remain essential to understanding and addressing social problems in the Euro-Mediterranean.