Arab Leaders Define National Strategies and Regional Opportunities for Women and Peace

Posted on: January 15, 2014, by :

Marrakech, Morocco – Karama, in collaboration with the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality, yesterday concluded a regional consultation convening leading women’s rights experts and activists from Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon to actualize national action plans on women, peace, and security. Together participants discussed shared opportunities and challenges and exchanged strategies and tools to enhance implementation and accelerate advocacy for women’s rights, participation, and security in the Arab region.

“From my experience in Morocco, when women feel that they are threatened, they are able to put aside all disagreements and divergences between them to face the problem together,” said activist Fatima Outaleb, who works with Moroccan women’s organization Union de l’Action Feminine.

Libya National Action PlanThe consultation, which was held from January 12th – 13th in Marrakech, Morocco, followed the Arab Regional Training on Using International Mechanisms and contextualized lessons learned from the training into existing national action plans. Regional experts and activists gathered addressed strategies for implementation, identified priorities for women and for national security, and exchanged resources to strengthen and enhance long-term success of advocacy efforts. Presentations emphasized women’s political participation, engagement of men and boys in women’s rights campaigns, and strategic communications to build awareness of and galvanize support for related initiatives.

“It was excellent to be able to network with women leaders in the region and find room for agreement on a specific issue that concerns women despite their differences,” said Ms. Outaleb.

During the two-day consultation, participants worked together in small groups to evaluate, analyze, and amend national action plans drafted at the Arab Regional Training on Women, Peace and Security held in Amman, Jordan in October. Elaborating on specific activities and strategies, participants worked to expand the reach and enhance the efficacy of existing plans within the framework of shifting opportunities, threats, and priorities for women and women’s rights in the region.