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Government and Civil Society Promote Women’s Empowerment in El Jadida, Morocco
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Government and Civil Society Promote Women’s Empowerment in El Jadida, Morocco

Government and Civil Society Promote Women’s Empowerment in El Jadida, Morocco

A two-day meeting was held on September 3-4, 2012 in El Jadida, Morocco, to discuss actions and changes that are urgently needed to empower women in the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) region. This meeting, which is part of the preparatory events leading up to the 9th Forum for the Future, was made possible through cooperation between the U.S. NGO League of Women Voters, Tunisian NGO Association des Responsables de Formation et de Gestion Humaine dans les Entreprises (ARFORGHE), and U.S. and Tunisian governments who are the co-chairs of BMENA in 2012.

Seventy eight civil society and government representatives from 20 BMENA countries attended the two-day conference.  Government and civil society dialogued during breakout sessions and several plenary sessions about potential national and regional reform efforts effecting women’s political participation, gender equality under the law, economic empowerment and freedom of expression.  The results of these conversations will inform the declaration to be issued at the ministerial level Forum for the Future.

The U.S. delegation was led by Ambassador Melanne Verveer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Nazanin Ash and  U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Holly Vineyard.  Representatives from other G8 countries included the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, and the Russian Federation.

The Second Preparatory Meeting of the 9th Forum for the Future will take place in Amman, Jordan, October 1-2, 2012 and will work on identifying concrete steps to improve the business and investment climate, create jobs, and encourage entrepreneurs.