This project collects and presents a broad range of women experts in various Arab countries in online databases, free of charge and accessible to everyone on the internet. The databases strive:
- To include women with expertise from all sectors of society, regardless of age, religious affiliation and political orientation.
- To give the represented women the opportunity to be exposed as researchers, leaders in the private and public sector, women in civil society organizations and media, as well as prominent artists, authors and activists.
Through the exposure of women experts, the databases not only make professional women available to media and journalists, thus making women visible in society, as experts and role models in order to break down gender stereotypes, but they also augment women’s chances of advancing onto decision making positions.
The idea of developing Who Is She databases in the MENA region sprung from KVINFO’s Danish expert database Ekspertdatabasen. It was developed in the 1990’s in order to increase the visibility of women experts in the Danish public sphere and in particular in the media. The lack of women experts in the media has been documented, for instance, via the international Who Makes the News survey which, for the first time, also covered the Danish media outlets in 2010, the report carried out by KVINFO and other partners.
The first Who Is She database appeared in 2010 in Lebanon. Since then, partners in Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine have developed their own, regional versions of the Who Is She database. The databases are available in Arabic and English. The fifth Who is She database was launched in Tunisia in November 2015 in French, English and Arabic.
The concept of Expertdatabasen and Who is She was recognized in 2013 as Best Practice by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) as a tool with a proven efficiency of promoting women experts in the media.
The main activities in the project are training/workshops and the exchange of knowledge between regional partners.
- Jordan: The Jordanian National Commission for Women
- Lebanon: Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World at the Lebanese American University
- Egypt: The Women and Memory Forum
- Palestine: INSAN Center for Women and Gender Studies at Al Quds University
- Tunisia: CREDIF – The Center for Research, Studies, Documentation and Information on Women
- Who makes the news
- KVINFO – Coordinating and implementing role