Stand With Women in the Middle East to Create Change
Supporting activists in Middle East and North Africa to repeal discriminatory laws
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Gucci’s CHIME FOR CHANGE and Equality Now are supporting local partners and activists to ensure that laws are equal, prohibit violence against women and girls, and provide equal access to justice.
This project is empowering and supporting activists from across the Middle East and North Africa (including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia) to develop and execute national advocacy campaigns to repeal discriminatory laws that perpetuate violence against women and girls.
Equality Now has convened a regional coalition that allows activists and experts on gender equality to join forces and exchange learnings and expertise on common issues regarding women rights.
When we surveyed them, these activists and experts identified reform of family law as a top priority in the region, as family laws are the single most discriminatory set of laws that affect women in the region and prevent them from achieving gender equality. This echoes the findings of the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls that “equality in the private domain—the family—remains one of the biggest hurdles to achieving gender equality.”
Within our coalition three sub-regional networks have been formed around three distinct problematic issues in existing family laws:
● Child custody for divorced women
● Child marriage
● Distribution of wealth after divorce
Equality Now has been working with these grassroots community service organizations––individually, within the thematic networks, and within wider coalition convenings––to build their capacity and prepare them for legal advocacy. Legal advocacy is a very distinct type of advocacy that most NGOs in the region have little experience with, as most of them focus on humanitarian or development work.
To build the capacity of grassroots groups in the most helpful areas, Equality Now has facilitated legal advocacy, social media and campaign filmmaking training to participants, with an emphasis on youth participation. 2021 is the year where our partner organizations will be supported to truly start harnessing the power of youth activism; when they will start shaping and implementing their legal advocacy campaigns, creating impactful, informative videos, sharing them on social media, amplifying research, challenging cultural assumptions, shifting attitudes and driving momentum towards change in the Middle East and North Africa.