Annual Regional Training: Laure Moghaizel
The AiW has launched a new project that aims to enhance the capacities of female activists, human rights advocates, media professionals, and bloggers working on gender issues in Lebanon and the Arab region.
This initiative, led by The AiW, in collaboration with the Arab Institute for Human Rights, and funded by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, was a one-year project that entailed conducting two regional online training courses. These trainings, which were given in Arabic, promoted an advanced feminist human rights discourse and spread the importance of advocating for gender justice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has sparked an unprecedented increase in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) globally.
The project was implemented in two phases:
Phase I: General Training
In December 2020, we opened the call for applications and received around 400 applications from Lebanon and different countries in the Arab region. In collaboration with the Arab Institute for Human Rights, we selected 120 applicants to participate in phase I of the training. 55 participants were selected from Lebanon and 65 participants were selected from Palestine, Sudan, Jordan, Mauritania, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, and Yemen.
An opening ceremony was held online on February 27, 2021, via Webex. The ceremony included Dr. Michel Mawad, President of the Lebanese American University, Dr. Nada Moghaizel, Honorary Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at Saint Joseph University of Beirut and Rector’s Delegate for Quality Assurance and University Pedagogy (Dr. Moghaizel is Laure Moghaizel’s daughter given that the training is named after her), Mr. Abdul Basit Bin Hassan, President of the Arab Institute for Human Rights in Tunisia, Dr. Antoine Messara, Founder of the Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace, and Mrs. Nahla Haidar, member and Vice President of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
The first phase of the project entailed delivering an online training on human rights principles and international treaties. It also addressed the status of women, girls, and vulnerable groups and the violence they face at times of conflict and lock-downs imposed by the governments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phase I of the training began on March 6, 2021 and ended on March 28, 2021. The participants were divided into four groups, in which each group took a two-hour session once a week for a period of four weeks.
These trainings were administered by well-established trainers in the field of human rights with extensive experience in conflict areas.
- The first session was on international law in times of conflict and was delivered by Dr. Khaled Al Mejri, University Professor in Tunisia.
- The second session was on the status of women in times of conflict and was delivered by Ms. Mervat Rishmawi, Senior Human Rights Consultant Researcher and Policy Analyst.
- The third session was on sexual violence against women and girls in times of conflict and was delivered by Maitre Manar Zaiter, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist.
- The fourth session was on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rights of women and was delivered by Ms. Jumanah Zabaneh, Program Coordinator at UN Women.
Upon the completion of this phase, 35 participants were chosen to take the special training based on their level of engagement, commitment, and participation.
Phase II: Specialized Training
The second phase of the project was a specialized online training, that entailed working on international concepts, treaties, conventions, and mechanisms related to women and girls’ rights in the Arab region. The training also addressed gender justice issues, the women, peace, and security agenda, and the importance of the national action plans. It also addressed the rights of vulnerable groups during armed conflicts, crises, and pandemics. Moreover, a session was reserved to addressing, reporting, and documenting sexual violence and developing reports on the situation of women and girls at times of emergencies such as the blast in Beirut port and pandemics, with a focus on COVID-19.
Phase II of the training began on May 3 and ended on May 11, 2021. The trainings were extensive that lasted for 7 days with 3 sessions per day.
- The first day addressed women’s rights in the Arab region, specifically in conflict areas.
- The second day tackled women and human rights treaties and conventions, and the UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace, and Security resolution.
- The third day was on the role of women in peace-building and political participation, and women’s economic rights during armed conflicts.
- The fourth and the fifth days addressed protection of women and girls in times of conflict (from GBV, early marriage, sexual violence, trafficking), and enhancing the right to sexual and reproductive health, and right to education.
- The sixth day tackled the protection and promotion of the rights of vulnerable groups (LGBTQ community, women and girls with disabilities, refugees).
- The seventh day was on writing reports about women’s rights in times of conflict.
Bringing together young female activists from different countries from the Arab region provided them with the tools needed to advocate for women and vulnerable groups’ rights in times of conflict. The participants also benefited from each other’s experiences in the field and gave them the opportunity to build partnerships and networks.
Upon completion of the second phase, the 35 participants received a certificate of participation, which will inevitably serve as an added value in their career paths.
Participants were also encouraged to write articles that will be published in the AiW’s academic journal, Al-Raida.