How do the new restrictions on abortion in the U.S. impact the battle for reproductive rights in the rest of the world? What does My Body My Choice mean in the Middle East? Across the region, abortion is mostly illegal but also easily available, for those who can afford it and because it is usually permissible to save a mother’s life. I speak first to Nana Abulseoud from RESURJ, in Cairo, about her reaction to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the global battle to preserve progress made on women’s reproductive rights in the last two decades. In Beirut, I speak to Sandrine Atallah, Lebanon’s first doctor in sexual medicine, about her efforts to bring sex education to social media because there is none in the classroom. And Sura, one of the anonymous co-founders of Mauj, a sexual awareness and education online platform, tells me why they created Deem, a vibrator for Arab women everywhere.
And for more on our guests…
Dr. Sandrine Atallahis the first doctor in sexual medicine in Lebanon, working on educating people in the MENA region on sexual health and pleasure. She’s also an MD in psychosexology. She teaches sexology at the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut and at the Lebanese American University.
Nana Abuelsoud is an Egyptian feminist advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) based in Cairo. She is focused on young people’s right to access information on contraception. She is also a member of the Advisory Board at The A Project, a Lebanese organization for sexual rights and health and reproductive justice.
Sura is the co-founder of Mauj, an educational platform on sexuality and sexual awareness brand launched in 2020 by a collective of Arab women between Jeddah, Beirut, Dubai, and Cairo. From tackling misinformation and misconceptions about sexual health, to creatively breaking taboos around female pleasure, Mauj has created an online space to destigmatize the conversation about sexuality and reproductive health in the Arab world.
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