We are three women working on the intersection of socio-legislations and feminist geography. Mennatullah is an urban planner from Cairo working on justice in cities. Arbia is a sociologist from Tunis specializing in gender studies and trade unions. And, Doaa is an Egyptian researcher from Dahshur, a rural area, she is a researcher working on the intersection of law, culture, women’s rights, and modern societies.

Arbia Selmi

Arbia Selmi is a labour and gender sociologist. Her doctoral thesis in sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris focuses on the mobilisation of women trade unionists for access to positions of power within the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT). Arbia Selmi is a member of the “Gender, Class, Race” axis of the Maurice Halbwachs Centre in Paris, and since October 2019 has been an associate member of the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin, on the “Dynamics and Experiences of Globalisation” axis. His research lies at the intersection of three fields of analysis: political sociology (collective mobilisation); the sociology of gender; the sociology of organisations. Arbia is an expert in gender studies and has specialised in gender and trade union issues. She is a feminist activist involved in associations fighting for gender equality and against violence against women in Tunisia.


Doaa Shafey

An ambitious researcher specialized in the transformation of Muslim societies, especially with regards to personal status law between family courts, religious institutions, and lawmakers. Doaa graduated from Al-Azhar University (Islamic Studies in 2015. Since, she works as an archivist in the Law and Society Research Unit at the American University in Cairo where she worked on facilitating, and organizing workshops, round discussions and lectures with marginalized women and religious leaders. Doaa has extensive experience in diverse data collection tools such as conducting focus group discussions, case studies, and in-depth interviews with various stakeholders. Besides, she works on archiving the legal documents of personal status laws (such as research papers, draft laws, law provisions) at the MQ website. In this project, Doaa is our sociolegal mind and the consultant in matters in relation to Islamic law.


Mennatullah Hendawy

An interdisciplinary urban planner who works on the intersection of cities, visualization, financialization, and communication. Mennatullah is fascinated by the way knowledge, power, and justice are manifested in and co-construct the public sphere. Mennatullah is completing her Doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Planning Building Environment in TU Berlin, Germany. Additionally, she is affiliated to the department of urban planning at Ain Shams University in Cairo. Mennatullah is also a visiting researcher at the German Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space. At TU Berlin, Mennatullah is coordinating two working groups: Towards Equitable Planning Curricula and Connecting Urbanity.


How did we come together?

Arbia and Mennatullah met in the study day “Junges Forum” at the March Bloch Centre in Berlin in 2020 where they were presenting their work on violence faced by women in Tunis and Cairo. Doaa and Menna have worked together on a study investigating why divorced women with custody rights in Egypt are not granted the custody-house inspite of the Egyptian personal status law which supports them. Our mission together is to reveal persistent inequalities in societies worldwide, to lift taboos, and to fight against all types of discrimination and exclusion.

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