In April 2019, the Information and communication among the youth of Guelma Association (INFO-COM Jeunes de Guelma) organized three policy dialogues, the first one took place at the youth house of Bouchegouf on April 20, the second at the youth house of Oued Zenati on April 27 and the third one at the youth inn in Guelma city in Algeria.
These dialogues were organized as a follow up to the advocacy campaign that INFO-COM Jeunes de Guelma had conducted in 2017 to disseminate articles 333 and 341 of the Criminal Code criminalizing verbal violence and sexual harassment against women and girls in public spaces. The dialogues also aimed at following up on the constraints for applying this law on the ground.
107 people participated in these highly interactive debates, including 7 elected members of the People’s Assembly (APW) of Guelma province and the Municipal People’s Assemblies (APC) of Bouchegouf, Guelma and Heliopolis, in addition to representatives of different political parties and local authorities operating in the sectors of youth and sports, national security, vocational training, academia, education, health, and religious affairs, as well as number of personalities from the private economic sector. Other key players such as Guelma regional radio, several NGOs and activists, lawyers, trade unionists, a university researcher and two young women’s football champions also participated in these meetings.
The debates focused on the situation of violence against women and the different efforts to combat it, including some awareness-raising actions carried out by the Guelma province authorities to support women’s sports associations and create a safe and favourable environment for the practice of sports and leisure activities by all people regardless of their gender. Yet much remains to be done and many recommendations have been proposed to speed up the fight against sexual harassment and verbal abuse against girls in Guelma, such as:
To promote equal opportunities in the practice of sport and leisure activities and the occupation of public spaces without discrimination based on gender, it is expected that certain measures will be adopted in the short term by Guelma’s local authorities, including the installation of CCTV cameras and the adoption of agreements between the town halls responsible for school transport and the Vocational Training Department in order to make local school and university transport safer.
In the coming months, INFO-COM will follow up on the commitments and recommendations made during April dialogues and will work with a group of local associations and relevant public institutions to draw up a charter for youth and sports establishments.
These policy dialogues are part of the project CSO WINS project « Capacity building in Southern Mediterranean to open policy dialogue and monitoring for women in society » funded by the European Union.
CSO WINS is coordinated by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) within the framework of the action of the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation (FFEM), in partnership with the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association – Asala, Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR), Association Djazairouna for the Victims of Terrorism, Forum Femmes Méditerranée (FFM), the Federation of Women´s Rights’ Leagues (Fédération des ligues des droits des femmes, FLDF) and the Euro-Mediterranean Academic and Scientific Network on Women and Gender (Réseau universitaire et scientifique euro-méditerranéen sur les femmes et le genre – RUSEMEG).
To learn more about the policy dialogues implemented within the framework of the CSO WINS project in 2019 click here. It is worth mentioning that the aforementioned advocacy campaign won the national contest for the best associative project in Algeria against violence against women and girls by the Ministry of National Solidarity.
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 Europe and Foreign Affairs 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.