Aitemad Muhanna-Matar first joined the MEC in November 2012 as a Visiting Fellow to pursue her post-doctoral research on gender, religion and sustainable human development in the Gaza Strip. Since February 2013, Aitemad has been leading the centre’s research on ‘Women’s Political Participation across the Arab region’, funded by Oxfam GB.
Originally from the Gaza Strip, Dr Muhanna has worked for the last twenty years on numerous policy-oriented research programmes and publications for the Oxfam-UK, Sida, UNIFEM, UNDP and the World Bank. For several years, she conducted research and contributed to the Palestinian Human Development Report as part of the Arab Human Development Report.
Dr Muhanna is a member of the Arab Research Hub and the research consortium of Pathways of Women's Empowerment which are both supported by IDS-Sussex. In 2011, she received her PhD in Development Studies from the University of Swansea/Wales and is revising her thesis to be published into a book by March 2012. She has extensive experience as a gender and development specialist and activist in Palestine. She has written dozens of research papers and consultancy reports on the crisis of development under the Israeli occupation, poverty and coping strategies, participation and community development approaches, and gender analysis. Her publications include: Women and work in Gaza; a book chapter, "The Gaza Strip after the Israeli Withdrawal: an Assessment of Reality and a Future Vision"; and a research paper entitled Palestinian Children in the Labor Market under the Israeli occupation