Sixteen associations from the Southern Mediterranean and the European Union participated in learning exchanges on advocacy and calling out to the decision makers. Eight of them have led advocacy campaigns on different issues (women’s rights to inheritance; women’s harassment, etc.). So, each association in charge of developing a campaign was attributed a peer and eight tandems were established. In the last months, each tandem met physically to share the challenges which they meet to mobilize public opinion in favour of women’s rights.
We underline some results of these field visits:
- In May, a European Women’s Lobby - EWL’s (Belgium) representative travelled to Women in Front - WIF (Lebanon) in Beirut. EWL was briefed on the Lebanese local context (election Law, quota and political system) and attended different trainings conducted by WIF for women candidates running for political positions. WIF exchanged with EWL on how to lobby effectively for women’s quota and how to encourage women’s networking.
- In May, Anaouat pour femme et enfant’s representative (Morocco) went to Cairo to meet with the Association for the Development & Enhancement of Women - ADEW (Egypt). Anaouat had the opportunity to do field visits to ADEW’s activities and to meet some beneficiaries of its micro-credit program. There were also training activities and discussions with ADEW’s team about Anaouat’s campaign, how to evaluate it and how to increase its impact in the media.
- In June, Jusoor Center for Studies and Development (Libya)’s representative went to Plovdiv to meet with Gender Alternatives Foundation – GAF (Bulgaria). The visit was centred on how media tools allow to influence the public opinion. Jusoor met several journalists and presented to them Jusoor’s campaign for the legalization of female companies that are operating in the informal sector. GAF provided advice on how to work efficiently with the media in order to change the portrayal of women in them. Both associations also discussed about the gaps in the legislation, the practice regarding domestic violence and women’s rights.
- In July, Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development - JOHUD (Jordan)’s representative realised a visit to Badr Altawael Association for local community development (Egypt). Johud took part in a training for lawyers and members of civil society organizations on women’s inheritance. Badr and Johud exchanged their experiences on how to address the policy makers to promote women’s empowerment. However, the field visit was shorter than expected due to the Egyptian security which impeded Johud to attend all the activities.
Once all the exchanges will be concluded, a toolkit will pull out lessons learnt from these experiences, and the benefits that the associations can obtain through engaging advocacy campaigns in collaboration with other organizations that face similar issues. The toolkit will be published by the end of 2017.
The learning exchanges happen within the framework of the CSO WINS project: “Capacity-building in the Southern Mediterranean to Open policy dialogue and monitoring for Women in Society". It is financed by the European Union and co-financed by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, coordinator of the project, in synergy with the Foundation’s action.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 “Strengthening the capacities of equality actors” of the Priority Solidarity Fund “Women for the future in the Mediterranean” funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women’s Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.