Tag Archive | "democracy"

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A Revolution, Not a Coup: The ability and power of the Egyptian people

Posted on 12 August 2013 by

Many Egyptians – not only the activists and protestors who worked against the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime – were astonished that it was toppled so very quickly. This occurred not only because of the Egyptian army’s role in the process. Rather, the main cause lay in the fact that, during one year of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s rule, his policies on all levels – social, economic, cultural and security – were a huge failure.

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IWDN Coordinator Presents on Women, Tech, and Democracy Panel During Social Media Week

Posted on 05 March 2013 by

On February 19, 2013, as Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) Program Associate and the International Women’s Democracy Network Coordinator, I spoke on the panel, “Women, Tech, and Democracy: The Next Frontier,” as part of Social Media Week in Washington, DC, at the National Democratic Institute (NDI).  I presented on WLP’s successful technology programs, WLP Partner advocacy campaigns that are bolstered by social media, the International Women’s Democracy Network, and WLP’s forthcoming Online Learning Portal, which will serve as a vehicle to build constituent’s capacities by hosting eCourses and webinars.

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The power of transnational partnership in challenging the new war on women

Posted on 23 October 2012 by

Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) joined the World Movement for Democracy Seventh Annual Assembly in Lima, Peru (October 15-17). At the Assembly WLP hosted Topical Workshop: Democratic Transitions and the Inclusion of Women to generate a participatory conversation on advancing women’s rights and democracy during periods of political transition. Panelists asked what the gendered outcomes of democratic transitions might be, and how women could weigh with significant bargaining power in those transitions. Lina Abou-Habib, WLP Lebanon, shares insights from the session.

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“If women do not get their rights, this is not a democracy”

Posted on 30 November 2011 by

In the weeks leading up to Monday’s historic election in Egypt, WLP talked with leading Egyptian women’s rights activist Amal Abdel Hadi about the upcoming elections and the future of women’s rights in the country. The following is a portion of our conversation.

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Women Activists Convene in Amman to Discuss Arab Spring & Democratic Transition

Posted on 18 November 2011 by

WLP International spoke with Asma Khader, Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women and General Coordinator of Sisterhood is Global Institute/Jordan, about the outcomes of a conference in Amman convened by the SALMA network from October 27-29, 2011, where she shared Jordan’s recent experience with constitutional reform. Over 60 NGO leaders and women activists gathered from 14 Arab countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, among others, to discuss women’s involvement  in democratic transition as well as Jordan’s recent constitutional amendments.

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WLP Malaysia Responds to Brutal Government Crackdown

Posted on 12 July 2011 by

On Saturday, July 9, over 20,000 took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur to protest past electoral fraud and demand free and fair elections in the largest demonstrations in Malaysia since 2007, known as Bersih 2.0. Over a thousand people were detained and injured as they took to the streets in spite of the ban issued by the ruling Barisan Nasional party. The opposition is demanding reform to ensure fairer laws prior to the elections scheduled for mid-2012.

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Hope for a Revolution with a New Ending: Democracy & Women’s Rights in Egypt

Posted on 02 March 2011 by

A new day has dawned in Egypt. The dictator has been brought down. Euphoria is in the air. How will women fare as euphoria yields to reality?

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A Revolution of Politics and the People: Changes in Egypt Reflect More than Mubarak’s End

Posted on 11 February 2011 by

As the former Egyptian patriarch finally abdicates, Amal Mahmoud of WLP Egypt/FWID talks to WLP about what’s next for women in Egypt.

When I spoke with Amal Mahmoud earlier today, Mubarak was still playing hide and seek with those whom, until his last moment in power, he kept calling “my children.” In true patriarchal form, Mubarak never acknowledged that “his children” were in fact citizens demanding their rights and unwilling to put up any longer with his excesses.

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Women Making Change Happen in Egypt: An Update from Tahrir Square

Posted on 10 February 2011 by

February 10, 2011

On the 17th day of the Egyptian revolution, spirits are up and hopes for change are high. The popular mobilization continues to increase and larger segments of society are joining it.

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Voices for Justice in Jordan: WLP’s Partner Appeals to New Prime Minister for Women’s Rights & Greater Freedoms

Posted on 10 February 2011 by

WLP has just received an exciting update from our partner in Jordan. Executive Director of WLP Jordan/ Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI/J) Asma Khader, along with sixteen other women’s rights activists, met with the country’s new Prime Minister, Marouf Bakhit, today to discuss the importance of women’s rights and political freedom during this period of political transition. The group met with Bakhit to present their demands prior to his announcing his newly formed cabinet. These demands, which are the product of ongoing discussions amongst those working for women’s equality in Jordan, focused on ensuring that aspects of the Constitution that would advance women’s empowerment are actually enforced and put into practice by the government.

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Women, Social Movements, and Revolution: Winds of Change in the MENA Region

Posted on 08 February 2011 by

Compared to the time it took the world to notice the popular upheaval that began in Tunisia last December, the civil unrest in Egypt that started on January 25th immediately made headlines and became a worldwide concern.

egypt protest (cc) desmond leo

Like Tunisia, Egypt’s movement for change came from youth who, after decades of neglect, poverty, hopelessness, unemployment and marginalization, decided to demand their right to participate and their right to be heard.  The system as they see it is beyond reform, and change can only come with total transformation and the ousting of a government whose interests were well-served at a time when ordinary citizens saw their basic rights being totally eroded.

Despite the attempts of those in power in both Tunisia and Egypt to co-opt the women’s and feminist movements (in addition to other social movements) — often with the support and resources of the international community — local and independent women’s rights organizations challenged state institutions and ensured that key gender equality issues remained prominent on the political agenda.  Part of this dynamic involved working toward a different model of participatory leadership, as well as fighting for women’s full participation in public affairs.

The social upheaval that has now swept through both Tunisia and Egypt is an indicator that change is inevitable, and that oppression and injustice cannot go on indefinitely.  Indeed, it makes clear that another kind of leadership is needed!

The WLP Partnership is following the developments in both countries through the eyes of women.  What opportunities do such changes bring for women? What is the role of women in bringing about change? How do women make sure that they are not sidelined once the dust settles? With autocratic leadership failing yet again, how can women bring in a different vision and practice of horizontal and participatory leadership? What opportunities can be created for inclusive and egalitarian citizenship?

In a series of interviews that will follow, the WLP Partnership will bring in the voices of women, their readings, analysis, hopes and concerns in an effort to make women’s voices heard and ensure that gender equality remains a priority for social movements and others demanding change and transformation.

Beirut, 7 February 2011

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Pride as the People Push for Democracy: An Update from Cairo

Posted on 03 February 2011 by

We spoke to our partners in Egypt today. We had been unable to reach them by phone or email for the past twenty four hours, and had tried repeatedly to reach Enas El-Shafie, Executive Director of our partner organization Forum for Women in Development (FWID) to no avail. But this time, her mobile phone rang and she answered. We were very happy to hear that every one was safe. Now that we knew everyone was safe, we were eager to hear her take on the situation in her country. FWID is in touch with a wide range of women from the intellectual elite to the grassroots so they would be able to comment on the mood of the women and their view of the evolving situation. She said “I am proud of the Egyptian people. In the absence of the police and other government services, the people have formed local committees and are offering services. They are the police, they are the doctors, they do everything.”

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