Gender Equality and Rural Women’s Empowerment Network
Near East and North Africa Region


New training module to improve food security and nutrition for upper Egypt’s women

Duration : 2/8/2016
“Community Nutrition Kitchens train women on how to add "nutritional twists" to their existing recipes with the ultimate aim of improving health of community members. With the participation of women, and as a result of training, the Kitchens become venues for spreading nutrition awareness, and even enable the creation of new nutritious recipes and snacks that fit the nutrition needs of all family members – especially children.

Milk for health and wealth - supporting small dairy producer communities in Lebanon

Duration : 28/1/2015
“The introduction of modern equipment and cooling centres is benefiting over 3,000 farmers, especially women, and has increased their production capacity by some 50 percent.

Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security in Egypt by Targeting Women and the Youth

Duration : 2012 - 2016
“Assist the Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MoALR) and related institutions in improving the nutritional status of vulnerable communities, particularly infants and children, in disadvantaged rural districts in Upper Egypt.

GSVC project on dairy products in Jerash, Jordan

Published: 4/10/2012
“The results of the last three months in Jerash do not only revolve around the implementation of certain economic women initiatives” says Dima Kalha, project manager from the Microfund for Women (MFW) –the primary facilitation partner of the GIZ during the implementation of the Gender-sensitive value chain project on the dairy milk sector in Jordan.

GSVC Project on Dog Rose in Zaghouan, Tunisia

Published: 4/10/2012
In the GSVC analysis of dog rose in Zaghouan, three main measures were supported by EconoWin-Tunisia throughout September and October.

Dinner on the roof, Gaza

Published: 4/9/2012
Urban aquaponic systems have proven to be successful in providing an environmentally sustainable solution to ensure food and nutrition security and to protect the livelihoods of the most vulnerable.

USAID/Egypt-supported job training programs young women in the apparel industry receive job and literacy training to improve their em-ployability

Published: 8/9/2012
USAID promotes gender equality and women's empowerment across all sectors of our work in Egypt. We support efforts to standardize maternal, child, and nutrition services and family planning best practices, especially for underserved populations. We address gender inequalities in education, support women’s and girls’ civic participation and political rights, reduce and respond to violence against women and children, and support women’s economic empowerment by providing jobs, training, loans for small businesses, and improved access to trade opportunities.

Lifting the veil on Tunisia’s clam fisheries

Published: 13/05/2011
FAO and its partners are actively strengthening the role of women in the beach clam fisheries subsector
See also the Radio and Video reports from Tunisia (in French), and Arabic.

Capacity Building of Women in the Eastern High Atlas, for its Economic and Social Empowerment, Morocco

Published: 2011-2012
In the Eastern High Atlas Mountain region of Morocco, women are on the frontline of key productive sectors, such as agriculture, that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of environmental and social changes, including global warming, the global economic crisis, geographic marginalization and unsustainable demographic growth. The programme intends to empower over 400 marginalized or low-income rural women through entrepreneurship and capacity building initiatives, such as adult learning classes, income-generating workshops, household management skill sessions, and gender-responsive budgeting discussions with local and national stakeholders. It seeks to achieve its objectives by employing advocacy, media outreach, and awareness raising strategies in addition to forming a core group of rural women to advocate for women’s civil and political rights, building on existing partnerships with state Ministries and non-governmental organizations in Morocco.

Promoting Access of Rural and Refugee Women to the Labor Market and Livelihood Opportunities, Lebanon

Published: 2011-2012
In Lebanon, Iraqi and Sudanese women refugees carry the burden of economic responsibility for their families and children under severe financial and material constraints, as they are often subject to a high degree of economic insecurity which is compounded by discrimination, a lack of employment opportunities and the rising cost of living. In addition, marginalized rural women in Southern Lebanon face some of the same difficulties in terms of employment and access to markets. The programme seeks to contribute to the economic empowerment of refugee and marginalized rural women by improving their status within Lebanese society. It seeks to increase the employability of 460 refugee and rural women through vocational and educational training in managerial skills, marketing strategies, and computer/information technology, in addition to developing specific work opportunities and income-generating activities that will encourage the growth and the long-term viability of women’s activities.

Promotion of Equality between Men and Women in the Rural Area of Bordj Bou Arreridj for Human, Social and Economic Development, Algeria

Published: 2011-2012
Rural women in Algeria face serious challenges related to unemployment, social exclusion and lack of respect for their fundamental human rights that stem from patriarchal interpretations of customs and practices. In addition, the incidence of early marriages deprives young women of opportunities to obtain an education and find proper employment. The programme’s strategic approach integrates technical and financial support, local partnerships, media mobilization, gender sensitization and awareness raising campaigns and will target local authorities, religious groups and NGOs to help foster a more respectful environment for rural women. It will build upon existing partnerships between civil society and government institutions, as it aims to further the economic empowerment of 500 rural women through income-generating agricultural activities and small manufacturing units.

The Family Cash Allowance, Egypt

Published: 2011-2012
In Egypt, the demand for social justice, inclusion, and equality were major drivers of the January 25th Revolution. The development of a Conditional Cash Transfer programme from the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Justice aims at increasing women’s control over economic resources as it seeks to restore state accountability to its citizens and empower economically disadvantaged women and their families through the use of cash transfers. The proposal envisages holistic empowerment strategies, including mainstreaming gender into social protection policies, service provision, and capacity building. The programme’s beneficiaries include 85,000 women and girls and more than 200 trained social workers whom will implement and monitor the programme.

Training, Personal Development and Socio-professional Integration of Single Mothers, Morocco

Published: 2011-2012
In Morocco, the plight of young single mothers and their children born outside of marriage has become a public concern over the past three decades. Despite the progress achieved, single mothers suffer from discrimination as well as social, legal, and economic exclusion. The programme aims at re-integrating single mothers and their children into their communities and at creating a more respectful environment which will foster their social stability and economic empowerment. INSAF, which has a track-record of leadership on this highly taboo topic, aims to address this issue through holistic empowerment strategies, including awareness raising, advocacy, vocational training and capacity building, to directly impact the lives of more than 2,000 single mothers and their children in Casablanca, in addition to 27,200 indirect beneficiaries throughout Morocco.

Promoting Hima Women Empowerment for Conservation and Livelihood, Lebanon

Published: 2011-2012
In Lebanon, enabling rural and marginalized women to gain access to natural resources and empowering them to have a greater sense of ownership on resource management will reduce poverty levels and will improve women’s well-being, including by supporting their access to food, medicinal plants, wood, and clean water. The programme represents an innovative approach that combines a community conservation focus with poverty alleviation and economic development initiatives for local women. It specifically focuses on the preservation of ecological systems, through traditional land designation and natural resource protection structures, called Himas. The programme’s strategies include capacity building, awareness raising and sustainable management of natural resources as a tool for improving the livelihoods of 6,000 women in the 6 established Himas in Lebanon.

Women’s Political Empowerment, Occupied Palestinian Territory

Published: 2011-2012
In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, women face many challenges that prevent them from participating in public life and decision making. The programme represents an innovative approach, which seeks to encourage women’s political participation and social involvement through theatre, drawing, arts, and craft techniques. Through the establishment of House of Women, a cultural center for gender-based solidarity, the implementing organization aims to increase women’s visibility and create a space for the cultivation of their self-expression, which is intended to ultimately lead to more active political empowerment. The initiative employs a set of strategies, which encompass informal education, specifically music, arts and drama, as well as training and capacity building, advocacy and lobbying. More than 200 women and girls in Anabta village, Tulkarem district, West Bank will benefit from its implementation.

Enhancing Palestinian Women’s Participation in Public and Political Life, Occupied Palestinian Territory

Published: 2011-2012
This programme seeks to increase women’s political representation at the community level to galvanize new spaces for Palestinian women’s political empowerment. Working with young women activists as promoters of social and policy changes, it seeks to ensure that new quota measures of women’s representation are translated into tangible results for Palestinian women. The programme employs a holistic approach that encompasses improving networking among women’s NGOs, raising awareness of 15,000 rural women, building the capacity of female local officials and women activists, and making local government more responsive to gender issues including promotion of gender responsive budgeting of these local councils.

Women Supporting Women, Occupied Palestinian Territory

Published: 2011-2012
Palestinian women have a strong history of political and social activism, which is often challenged by the gender-differentiated impact of the male-centered development aid system. An innovative initiative, called community-controlled grant-making, proposes that women take a leadership role in determining how development resources should be used to benefit their communities. It focuses on building the capacity of women’s organizations to run projects successfully and transparently, while also facilitating their access community resources. The programme will benefit 45 different women’s groups that will be selected by their peers to receive grants. These groups will implement their individual projects based entirely on peer support, providing and receiving advice and assistance on budgeting, procurement and contracting, financial reporting, community decision-making, self-monitoring, and resource mobilization.

A Wave of Women’s Voices – 1,000 and Counting, Egypt

Published: 2011-2012
The programme’s objective is to mobilize women from all governorates, who can form a “wave of women’s voices” and take on leadership roles. The initiative seeks to mobilize a minimum of 1,000 women across Egypt in a one-year period, in order to create a snowball effect that will encourage additional women to join throughout the programme duration and beyond. To attain its main objective – enhancing women’s political empowerment – the grantee organization will employ a series of strategies, including network building, lobbying, advocacy, capacity development and targeted trainings for young women activists.

Inclusive Democracy: Ensuring Women’s Political Rights in Libya, Yemen, and Egypt throughout the Arab Spring

Published: 2011-2012
In Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, women are active political citizens, who have demanded social change during the transitions occurring in the region. The programme explores the impact of these transitions on women and aims to increase their leadership and voice in the political sphere, ultimately advancing gender equality. Working at a regional level, the implementing organization will train, support, and strengthen the capacity of 30 local women’s NGOs and 150 women activists and political leaders in the three targeted countries – Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. The programme utilizes a comprehensive set of strategies, including networking and alliance building, training and capacity building, and advocacy campaigns in addition to hosting regional consultations as tools to enhance women’s political empowerment.

Towards a Democratic Constitution that Grants Equal Rights to Women, Occupied Palestinian Territory

Published: 2011-2012
In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the text of a permanent constitution is yet to be drafted. The available proposals only vaguely reflect women’s human rights as they fail to advocate for gender equality in concrete terms. Moreover, Palestinian women have neither access to the constitution drafting processes, nor have they yet attained widespread levels of political participation. The programme intends to influence the constitution drafting process through lobbying, advocacy and awareness raising strategies in order to ensure that gender equality is embedded in the new Palestinian Constitution and that the document emphasizes democratic and political reforms, tolerance, gender equality and the participation of all Palestinian citizens. 240 women beneficiaries will participate in leadership trainings on journalism, media, law and lobbying in this regard and overall 10,000 Palestinian women in Gaza and the West Bank are expected to be impacted by the programme implementation.

Our Voice Counts. Egypt, Jordan, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Yemen

Published: 2011-2012
Women with disabilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen face multiple challenges, including social stigmatization, socio-economic exclusion, and double discrimination (on the basis of gender and disability). The programme’s main objective is to promote the rights of women with disabilities as stipulated by CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by increasing their capacity and knowledge and ensuring that technical and financial support is allocated to their priorities through local and national level policies. It seeks to improve the capacity of 800 women with disabilities in the four implementing countries to actively participate in local and national advocacy campaigns with emphasis on women’s political rights. The strategies proposed include advocacy and media campaigns, fostering partnerships, coalitions, networks and strengthening regional coordination among women with disabilities.

Documentation and Empowerment: The Creation of an Archive of Women’s Voices in Egypt

Published: 2011-2012
The Women and Memory Forum is concerned with the negative representations and perceptions of Egyptian women that exist in the cultural sphere. A scarcity of disseminated knowledge about the role of women in history, as well as in contemporary cultural and political life forms a challenging obstacle. This initiative seeks to advance the cause of women’s political empowerment and leadership in Egypt by assembling an archive that documents and highlights the role of women as leaders, activists, and participants in major movements for change in Egypt. Through a set of strategies, which include data collection and analysis, information dissemination, networking, and awareness raising, the programme will compile women’s narratives, confronting traditional cultural stereotypes and prejudices to provide an example of women’s crucial role in formal and informal political life in Egypt. This archive will be made accessible through publications, social media and a website for use by women activists, human rights groups, university students, youth leaders and the general public.

Gender Training for Iraqi Academics & Researchers, Iraq

Published: 2011-2012
In Iraq, the armed conflict has had a severe impact upon Iraq’s academic community. Iraqi women in academia are in a precarious situation as they face poverty, unemployment, discrimination, gender-based violence, restrictions in movement and have limited opportunities for professional development. Implementation of this programme through trainings, seminars, conferences and workshops, will aim to support the capacity of female academics and researchers in Iraq to promote women’s rights and gender studies initiatives. It also focuses on strengthening the exchange of information and experiences among national, regional and international human rights movements and on fostering non-traditional alliances. The programme intends to directly benefit 40 female Iraqi academics and researchers. In addition, it is also expected that civil society organizations and women’s rights activists will be able to increase their gender-sensitive research capacities as well as their abilities to conduct gender equality campaigns.

Promoting rural employment for West Bank and Gaza Strip youths

Published: 02/06/2010
Developing job opportunities and decent employment for youth are major challenges in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The challenges are even greater for girls. FAO and its partners responded with a community-based initiative.

Local women and men key to Syrian fire prevention

Published: 02/03/2010
Syrian forests are important sources of wood, edible fruits, medicinal plants and other products.

Horticulture helps Palestinian women feed families

Published: 02/03/2010
Drip irrigation networks and "grey water" treatment units ensure fruit and vegetable production even during water scarcities of the hot summer months.

Salheya Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment, Egypt

Published: 12/2010
In Egypt, the government will expand its engagement with women in the workforce by testing a model to increase women’s entrepreneurial and career opportunities: the Gender Equity Seal, a voluntary certification for businesses that adhere to standards for hiring, training and promoting women. This programme also establishes data monitoring systems to promote targeted social protections for 13,000 working women, proactively support young women graduates to respond to the needs of the labour market and strengthen labour-related legislation. Ultimately, the programme will facilitate large-scale replication of the Strategy for Supporting and Empowering the Egyptian Working Woman and the institutionalization of the Gender Equity Seal as the gender auditing tool for private and public firms at the national level.

The Strengthening of Women’s Role in Local Governance through Community Development Plans, Morocco

Published: 12/2009
The primary objective of this programme is to support 13 rural and urban communities in the Guelmim-Es Smara region in drafting Community Development Plans, in order to improve the role and status of women in community planning processes and include provisions for the socio-economic empowerment of women.

Advancing Palestinian Refugee Women in Lebanon Gender Equality, Lebanon

Published: 12/2009
A recent study of semi-permanent Palestinian refugee settlements revealed that female Palestinian refugees feel “buried alive,” facing double discrimination based on gender and refugee status. The project is an innovative effort to carve political space for these women to claim leadership positions and promote a women’s rights agenda in the camps.

Enhancing Palestinian Women Opportunities, Occupied Palestinian Territory

Published: 12/2009
The project seeks to consider the specific restrictions and conditions faced by Palestinian women living under occupation and develop a model cooperative specifically designed to use economic empowerment as a tool for their political and social empowerment.

UAE National Gender Mainstreaming Initiative: Capacity Building of the UAE’s general Women’s Union - Project No. 50557

Published: 2008
This project's main objective is to build the capacity of the UAE General Women's Union (GWU), to enable the organization to more effectively contribute to gender empowerment and sustainable development efforts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Enhancing the GWU's capabilities, especially in the area of gender mainstreaming, will enable the organization to successfully implement the National Strategy for the Advancement of Women in the UAE, as well as effectively monitor and follow-up on commitments made by the UAE Government with regards to the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as well as other relevant conventions and international agreements. This will be achieved through an extensive capacity building strategy that encompasses (i) capacity building of GWU through training in organizational skills; (ii) capacity building of GWU through sector-specific gender development training; (iii) gender sensitizing programmes targeting government and non-governmental agencies; (iv) partnership and exchange programmes between the GWU and government institutions.

The Women’s Initiative Fund (WIF), Egypt

Published: 1995
The Women’s Initiative Fund (WIF) worked to improve the situation of women and their families in Upper Egypt through supporting them to start-up small and microenterprises. Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented in Egypt by FIT in cooperation with the Women’s Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA), the project succeeded in creating income generation and employment opportunities among some of the most marginalised communities in Egypt.