From Morocco to Yemen – Regional Gender Workshop in Egypt

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Twenty four electoral administrators, civil society activists, Arab League members and UNDP staff gathered in Cairo for a 4-day regional BRIDGE Training on Gender and Elections, sponsored by UN Women, from the 1st till the 4th of December 2013. The workshop focused on providing the participants with the tools and skills needed to empower gender in electoral process and enhance the participation of women as voters, candidates and member of the EMBs.

Participants came from 9 different countries (Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq and Egypt). The Workshop activities began on the 1st of December with a welcome address by Yara Sharif from UNWOMEN Regional Office for Arab States and Maya Morsy, Gender Practice Leader at UNDP-RCC.

During the workshop, participants were taken through the customized gender and elections curriculum, featuring emerging issues and opportunities to probe further into priority areas common to the participating countries.  The training was facilitated by Samia Mahgoub (Belgium), Ramona Canaan (Egypt) and Anan Sorri (Palestine). Unfortunately, two facilitators from Tunisia and Sudan couldn’t get their visa on time.

This group promised to be exceptional from the first day. This wealth of knowledge brought the concepts of the training to life through bountiful case examples, extensive reflection and personal experience coming from the region. As a participant from Lebanon noted, “I learned a lot during those 4 days, everything was useful and the wealth of experiences from all participants from so many countries was helpful”.

The participants’ evaluations, collected after each day session, applauded the BRIDGE methodology, and the comparative nature of the curriculum. There was significant interest to learn more about many of the topics covered, particularly international standards, gender and elections, accessibility, public outreach, electoral systems, and political parties.

Anan Sorri received his full accreditation as Workshop Facilitator at the end of the course.

The workshop was made possible with financial support from UN Women, Regional Office for Arab States, and was organized by UNDP Regional Center in Cairo.

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