By Jane Henrici and Jeff Hayes
IWPR’s Status of Women in the Middle East and North Africa (SWMENA) project, in partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has wrapped up the year by creating a toolkit for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Using Research on the Status of Women to Improve Public Policies: Capacity-Building Toolkit for Nongovernmental Organizations, will be released online this spring at www.swmena.org. The toolkit guides NGOs in developing their own status of women reports to help effect research-based policy changes. IWPR board member Cynthia Lloyd was among those who provided valuable review and feedback on the project.
Along with partners from IFES, IWPR Senior Research Associate Jeff Hayes attended the “Regional Lessons Learned” workshops for the SWMENA project in Marrakech, Morocco this past November. Representatives from other organizations and country advisors from Lebanon and Morocco also attended. IWPR and IFES presented comparative results from survey data collected in Lebanon, Morocco, and Yemen, as well as the Capacity-Building Toolkit. Morocco’s El Amane Association for Women’s Development presented on an outreach project to increase women’s political mobilization in villages surrounding Marrakesh. Lebanon’s Committee for the Follow Up of Women’s Issues described a campaign to change the law preventing Lebanese women married to foreign-born men from passing Lebanese citizenship to their children.
The workshops provided an opportunity to review the knowledge gained from the SWMENA project and opened possible directions for future collaborations. Visit www.iwpr.org/initiatives/swmena for more information about our work in this area.