Gender & Introduction workshops in Amman

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The regional “Young Women Leadership in Political and Social Development”  (YWLD) project is a two-year regional project being implemented by The Academy for International Development – Middle East (AID-ME) as a pilot project in (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia. The overall goal of the project is to create first and second lines of active young women leaders who should act as change agents within their communities for the civic participation and good governance practices.

A significant output of the program is the establishment of the Regional Federation for Youth Civic Engagement to start with these four countries and to outreach the entire Arab World in a later stage. The federation is planned to sustain the on-going efforts by those young female leaders and their NGOs in the four countries and to play an important role to enhance election processes in the Arab countries. The federation will also serve as a platform for women leaders in the Arab World to be engaged and play active role in the on-going election reform in several Arab countries.

AID-ME is dedicated to increase participation of young women leaders in their society’s public affairs in the Middle East and North Africa region. AIDME has completed four BRIDGE workshops in Amman, Beirut, Cairo, and Tunis represented an integrated part of AID-ME effort to create qualified regional pool of women leaders who can carry out governance reform in the region.

BRIDGE Plan for MENA Region

AID-ME together with the BRIDGE team in Cairo implemented a regional plan to reach its goal mentioned above. AIDME and BRIDGE team prepared and delivered six BRIDGE workshops for YWLD beneficiaries and partner organizations. Four BRIDGE workshops on introduction to election process delivered in the four countries: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia between February and March 2013. These four BRIDGE workshops targeted 100 participants from the women leaders and officials from the 24 partners organization in the four countries.

After the completion of the introduction workshops, 20 participants selected attended a regional Training the Facilitator (TtF) conducted in Lebanon on May 2013. Five selected participants from each of the four countries invited to a regional TtF.

As a result, AIDME is created a pool of qualified BRIDGE facilitators as a seed for regional BRIDGE team in the MENA region hosted by the federation. For AIDME and the federation, this is an integrated part of addressing election reform and youth involvement in election process in the Arab World.

After the TtF, and as a final step of this stage, AIDME and BRIDGE team selected two semi accredited facilitators together with accredited BRIDGE facilitator prepared and delivered BRIDGE workshop entitled introduction to election process and gender and election in Amman-Jordan. This report is documenting the workshop and the accreditation of the two facilitators as the first round of creating BRIDGE MENA facilitator team.

The Training Topics and Workshop Agenda

The BRIDGE training workshops was held in Jordan, Amman. The training course was designed to cover the following main topics.

  • Introduction to Election,
  • Electoral Systems,
  • Voter Registration,
  • Gender and elections, and
  • Post-election Activities.

The agenda was designed to cover the main topics in the election process, and the modules were chosen in order to give the participants a global overview about the election.

Choosing and Producing the Training Materials

Arabic materials of BRIDGE version 2 curriculum has been used in this training during the training sessions and as hand-outs for participants’ folder.
In addition to these materials, the facilitation team produced new materials for new activities as well as new and updated background materials covering some of the course topics. The materials in the participants’ folders were supplemented most effectively with copies of:

  • Jordanian constitution,
  • Bill for the year 2012 elections,
  • International IDEA “Election System Book”,
  • International IDEA “Design for Equity – Women Qouta”,
  • UN “human rights and elections” 
  • Election observation manual,
  • Arab Institute for Human Rights: “Women Political Participation”,
  • National Democratic Institute  (NDI) notes about Jordanian elections,
  • Number of analytical article on election laws in Jordan.

The participants

Twenty young women participated in this workshop, all from Jordan. They came from three different governorates in the country to ensure equal geographic representation of the participated women leaders. All participants were involved in the YWLPSD program.

The age of participants from YWLPSD was between 21 and 25 years. The average age was 23 years for the participants who represented the YWLPSD in the BRIDGE workshops as the project is targeting only young women with age between 18-25.

The Facilitation Team

Three accredited BRIDGE facilitators participated in the preparation and the delivery of the four workshops:
1- Hassan Hussein –  Lead Facilitator
2- Mireille Ndayra  – Semi-accredited Facilitator
3- Ahmad Abd El Wahid – semi-accredited Facilitator

The three facilitators brought together different dimensions to the workshops: international, election, democracy, governance and Human Rights experiences and provided a good mix of local, regional and international comparative knowledge.

Conclusions and Participants Feedback

Through the daily evaluation by the end of every day and the final evaluation of the entire workshop, participants of the BRIDGE workshops Jordan were very satisfied by the workshop. Their daily and final evaluations reflected that. Most of them requested other workshops in different BRIDGE modules. Several participants demanded that the time should be longer to maximize the benefit of the workshop. The majority of participants were keen to show their high interest and willingness to progress in BRIDGE.

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