Dima Dabbous

Regional Representative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for Equality Now

Region(s): Africa, Middle East
Country of focus: Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco
Based in Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Dima Dabbous  (@ddabbous1) is the Regional Representative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at international women’s rights organization, Equality Now. A native of Lebanon who is based in Beirut, she has worked more than 30 years to further gender equality in the Arab World.

Dima worked in 2020 on Moroccan Women’s Legislative Gains and Opportunities for Reform in Lebanon, an Equality Now publication on family law reform. She has spoken and written widely on family law reform and Islamic feminism in the MENA region, as well as on broadcast regulation in the Arab world, and women and Islam on Arab satellite television. She has featured as a senior expert on media laws and gender in the Arab World for UNESCO and the BBC. 

In 2019, Dima contributed to a report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief which said states should not use religious beliefs to justify violations of the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community. She helped facilitate workshops in Tunis, Tunisia and Geneva, Switzerland organized by the Special Rapporteur to discuss strategies to advance the human rights of women and sexual orientation and gender identity  minorities and to protect the right to freedom of religion and belief.

As director of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World from 2005 and 2013, Dima implemented internationally-funded development projects to empower women in the region. Her career began in journalism and she subsequently worked as an academic, researcher, and consultant before joining Equality Now in 2018.

Dima holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Communication Arts from Beirut University College, Lebanon, an M.A. in Media Studies from Concordia University in Montreal, and a Ph.D. in Broadcast Law/Policy Analysis from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. 

She is available for interviews in English, Arabic, and French.