At the 6th Annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in late September 2010, special NGO member Karama presented its 2010 Commitment to Action entitled “Capacity-Building for Women, Peace, and Security.” Specifically addressing conflict-areas within the Arab region including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, this multi-year commitment will launch a comprehensive study on the impact of war on women, filling a much-needed gap in current, relevant data in this area within the Middle East and North Africa.
Women continue to be seen as collateral victims or property during times of conflict and endure aggravated physical, emotional, and economic abuse. Karama seeks to address the urgent needs of these women and actualize the intended impact of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 by first convening a Regional Consultation on Armed Conflict, where youth leaders, women activists, academics and experts, UN representatives, refugees and IDPs will gather to define research objectives, identify a consistent research methodology, and launch a series of studies into the impact of war on women economically, politically, socially, legally, and with regard to their health and security.
During the annual meeting, Karama also addressed one of CGI’s priority themes, empowering women and girls in a small-group discussion on Women in the Middle East. Karama Founder and CEO Hibaaq Osman led this discussion, presenting pivotal statistics on the status of women and girls in the Middle East with regard to primary and secondary education, employment, basic human rights and legal status, and violence and discrimination. Local-area initiatives and government interventions were presented as examples of successful partnerships and initiatives that have advanced the status of women in the Arab region, and as opportunities for future collaboration.
Karama’s participation at CGI was instrumental in raising the profile of women within the Middle East and North Africa, and in building awareness on crucial areas where donors, activists, and experts across the globe must actively collaborate and innovate. Karama and Ms. Osman’s engagement on the issues of women’s security, health, education, and political participation will be featured in a series of media including a new series on global health presented by ABC.
Karama has been a CGI member since 2009, where it presented its first Commitment to Action on Building Constituencies for Equality in the Middle East. More information on each of Karama’s Commitments to Action can be found on CGI’s website at www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.