From the 6th to the 8th of March 2014 the first regional Dialogue Forum (DF) organized by PeaceWomen Across the Globe (PWAG) emphasized women’s political participation and how to overcome the challenges facing Egyptian women in politics by conveying leadership and communication skills. Given the current political situation in Egypt our cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW) from Cairo turned out to play a crucial role in the success of the Dialogue Forum in Luxor.
On the occasion of the event being held in Luxor the secretary general of the governorate of Luxor, General Alaa Harras, honoured the DF by welcoming the participants officially in the name of the city mayor. Ambassador Soad Shalaby, manager of the Women Business Development Center of the NCW, and Maha Maaz from the Center for the Study of Democracy and Social Peace of the Biblioteca Alexandrina, stressed the importance of engaging in a dialogue on the political participation of women in the Egyptian society. Ambassador Soad Shalaby talked about the Egyptian woman as a distinctive and effective lady in the civil society and highlighted the necessity to activate her role in political life.
To begin the first session of the DF, Dr. Nada Thabet, the moderator, stressed that the main goal was to promote participation and dialogue between the parties through interactive and practical sessions and to come out with applicable proposals. Zahra’ Langhi from the Lybian Women’s platform for Peace led the first workshop, an introduction to dialogue processes and approaches to effective dialogue. In a second workshop Fawzia Talout Meknassi from Presma, a morrocan Press Agency, talked about communication and the use of mass media. The knowledge and experience of our PeaceWomen proved once again to be of utmost value. Even Ambassador Soad who is used to writing media communiqués was impressed by how much she learned in the workshops.
The following two days were dedicated to the dialogue. Due to different factors, among them the fact that there were no Islamist women present, the composition of the participant group could have been more diverse. Nevertheless the discussions were intensive and the participants very motivated. At the end of the three days the participants were divided into two groups (Luxor and Aswan) from which one person each was chosen to be responsible for the respective region. These women will coordinate further meetings and the communication with PWAG and the NCW in order to guarantee the transfer of the acquired skills and tools into practice and the continuation of our cooperation.
Authors: Tanja Mirabile, PWAG Project Manager and Andrea Grossenbacher, PWAG Communications Assistant