Middle East Women Leaders Share Stories of Activism & Accomplishments

Posted on 28 October 2009 by

This week, WLP welcomed partners from Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Nigeria to Washington, DC for a series of dialogues on women’s rights and political participation, and for the launch of the second volume in WLP’s Translation Series, Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story. We are always thrilled to speak to our partners as they continue their projects in their respective countries, but nothing quite compares to the dynamic exchanges and explosions of new energy that take place when these inspiring activists can meet face-to-face.

The week has gotten off to a busy start with two exciting opportunities for our partners to share their work during public events here in DC.

Women & the Politics of Change in the Middle East Panelists

Women & the Politics of Change in the Middle East Panelists

On Monday, it was “From the Margins to the Center: Women and Democracy in the Middle East,” a panel at the National Endowment for Democracy, where discussions centered on the importance of women’s participation in decision-making processes not only from the top-down, but also from a more holistic standpoint rooted in engagement and activism on the grassroots level.

On Tuesday, we were off to Johns Hopkins University to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the 10th anniversary of our organization with a panel on “Women & the Politics of Change in the Middle East.” Our partners presented the successes and challenges of women’s rights advocacy under CEDAW and shared strategies and tactics used by women’s rights activists all over the Middle East to get their governments to first ratify and then implement the convention.

The attendance and the lively question and answer sessions that followed indicated the high levels of interest on these topics. This is an energizing and critical time in the work of our partners and for grassroots women’s rights activists worldwide. Given the more open political climate in the US for addressing women’s issues (including the possibility for US ratification of CEDAW?), we always welcome these opportunities to share these underreported stories of real world activism and accomplishments!

More details and reports of the events will follow after we recover from the intense organizing marathon of the last week.

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