Special issue of Reproductive Health Matters features IDRC-supported work

July 11, 2018
A Syrian refugee holds her young child in an informal settlement in North Lebanon.

John Donnelly / World Bank

Eleven articles in a special issue of the international journal Reproductive Health Matters highlight the work of the Reproductive Health Working Group on issues of gender and health in the Middle East.

The network receives support from IDRC as part of a research project managed by the American University of Beirut (AUB) to shape public health research in the Arab world.

Written by 30 authors from 10 countries, the peer-reviewed special issue “Gendered bodies and reproduction in the Arab countries and Turkey” covers topics such as young women’s views on early marriage, reproductive health rights, gender and sexuality in the workplace, and male sexual performance anxiety.  

“Connecting with each other through research has helped to offer both an intellectual home and stable community to individual researchers committed to engaging in research with impact, from a region under-represented in global debates in this field,” said Jocelyn DeJong, the working group’s coordinator and a professor and associate dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the AUB’s Faculty of Health Sciences. 

Founded in 1988, the Reproductive Health Working Group has endured in a context of conflict, forced displacement, and political upheaval. “We did not imagine that it would remain an active network of researchers for over three decades,” says Huda Zurayk, the founding coordinator of the working group, a retired professor, and former dean of the AUB’s Faculty of Health Sciences. “It satisfied a need for collaborative multidisciplinary research on women’s health in the region.”