Director’s Update: October 2018

Working with youth, the ambassadors of change and gender equality leaders, has always been our main concern. Supporting this, IWSAW hosted a round table discussion with Malayah Harper, The World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA) General Secretary, and inspiring young feminists in Lebanon. The discussion was fruitful as the young women leaders had different views but same vision to empower young women and girls away from society’s stigmas and taboos.

Speaking about taboos, I was honored to be a panelist at “Let’s Talk!” event hosted by UNFPA, Elbi, and campaigner and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova in Antalya, Turkey and discuss women’s health related taboos. I also debated US midterm elections foreign policy, gender, and social welfare as a main speaker at “America Votes” event organized by us in collaboration with the Department of Social Sciences, and the Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution at LAU. Let’s aim and hope to have more than 20% women representatives at the Congress in this coming election!

Moreover, our voice reached out to the world as our own Myriam Sfeir was the Lebanese women’s voice and spoke about gender rights and the challenges women face in Lebanon at the International Seminar “Lebanon under Pressure”  organized by Casa Arabe in Spain. Also, Our Lead Gender Integration Specialist Joanna Fayad attended the Anabtawi 28 regional training held by the Arab Institute for Human Rights in Tunisia to learn more about individual rights and human dignity. Participants from 14 different Arab countries participated in the training to benefit from each other’s different experiences after going through an intensive and very selective online training.

As the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is knocking our doors, we held a “Food 4 Thought” session with UN ESCWA for the Fashion Design students at the LAU School of Arts and Sciences, to raise awareness on violence against women and the 16 Days of Activism. Fashion Design students will also be participating in our 2018 annual 16 Days of Activism Arts Competition held with ESCWA.

For Equality for Everyone: Gender Reform from Grassroots to Government, our project on behalf of the US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), we conducted a two-day retreat with the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) participating in the project. The retreat focused on providing technical skills trainings for the CSOs such as proposal writing, fundraising and funding opportunities, and project management. However, our continuous partnership with MEPI does not end on this project but also extends to support the MEPI Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) Program where we attended the closing ceremony for the graduation of Khadija Elboaishi, LDF fellow hosted by IWSAW. We also organized another workshop entitled “Advocacy Institute” for the CSOs within the project funded by Baladi CAP in collaboration with the Human Rights Education and Advocacy Institute (HREA), and its Executive Director Frank Elbers.

Stay tuned to know more about what’s happening in November!

Sincerely,

Lina