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Social and Civic Engagement

“Working Toward Co-Location:  A Regional Training Workshop” sponsored by MEPI; Amman, Jordan. © Vital Voices Global Partnership
“Working Toward Co-Location:  A Regional Training Workshop” sponsored by MEPI; Amman, Jordan.

Overview

Civic education projects and training in leadership and advocacy strategies give women the skills and confidence to act on behalf of their own communities and to play an active role in society and politics. MEPI focuses on increasing the role and profile of women in shaping communities through targeted projects that help broaden women’s civic engagement.

Recent Projects

Egypt - The Online Activism Institute (OAI) uses an e-learning platform to deliver the “Create Your Activism Plan” curriculum to help participants transform their visions for change into concrete, achievable actions. Nearly 40 Egyptian women civil society reformers, ages 19 to 48, have completed training, including writing their own activism plans. The participants come from a diverse array of professional fields, including students, lawyers, council members, journalists, and businesswomen. Their activism plans span issues from women’s rights, to local community development, to elections monitoring, and youth civic education. Participants say that as a result of their training, they now have clearer goals and a more comprehensive approach to their activism. As participant Saneya El Fikki shared, “It helped me organize my goals and thoughts and gave me tools to help me change these visions into reality.”

Israel - One of MEPI’s newer projects, Min Ajlina, or "For Us," increases the effectiveness of Bedouin women’s organizations in Israel’s Negev region. The project is implemented by Shatil, an Israeli NGO that strives to empower women’s advocacy organizations in an environment that is traditional and patriarchal. Min Ajlina is also establishing greater awareness within the Negev’s Bedouin community about the rights and potential of women. Activities, which target young Bedouin women and men enrolled in local high schools and colleges, provide a forum to discuss gender roles and the changing status of Bedouin women.

Saudi Arabia - Women in Saudi Arabia are seeking expanded opportunities for civic engagement, and MEPI is meeting this demand. The Saudi Women’s Civic Participation project focuses on developing the leadership abilities and organizational and management skills of current and up-and-coming women civic leaders, including those who intend to participate as voters, educators, and possibly as candidates, in elections for chambers of commerce and other bodies. MEPI works to help Saudi women take advantage of new opportunities for civic participation.