● Build Coalitions: Joint efforts have more impact and increase the trust of the international community in the initiative.
● Tell a positive narrative: Tell stories of achievements and communicate impact.
● Give WHRDs the space, opportunity, and power to decide for themselves and have ownership over campaigns and coalitions
Activity civic goals
The MENA WHRDs Forum and capacity building workshops were attended by 58 participants in Istanbul on 15-17 September. Most of the participants were MENA WHRDs with a few international partners, donors and experts. They came from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Algeria, Kuwait, Yemen, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and Bahrain. It was the first time such a regional meeting had been organised for MENA WHRDs, and the first time many people had met or been to a large meeting since the pandemic.
The event started with introductions by GCHR and I4C staff and Board, and a speech by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Reem Alsalem, followed by interviews moderated by Diana Moukalled, Co-founder and managing editor of Daraj media with Bahraini WHRD Ebtisam Al-Saegh, Marwa Fatafta of Access Now, Jordanian lawyer Hala Ahed, Moroccan journalist Sanaa El-Aji and an Iraqi WHRD who will remain anonymous.
The opening day was followed by two days of training workshops, with innovative aspects of well-being and self-care, including creative activities. The women defenders developed a few plans that constitute a roadmap for the sustainability of the cooperation and work space after the end of the forum, as well as for the issue of working on digital security, and the issues that were raised during the discussion of advocacy, including plans for enhancing economic resources, strengthening solidarity and awareness raising, networking and protection tools.