Rabat (Morocco) – 18 March 2016: Over 120 women parliamentarians (nearly 25% of total) from the Arab states region endorsed the “Rabat Declaration” to support women’s participation in politics. The Declaration calls on relevant parties to: introduce and operationalize women’s quotas, end corrupted political funding, introduce financing modalities to women candidates and develop programmes that alter women’s negative stereotypes, especially in leadership positions.
The declaration came at the conclusion of the two-day Forum of the Arab Women Parliamentarians Network for Equality “Ra’edat”, which took place in Rabat (Morocco) last month. The forum brought together over 120 former and current women parliamentarians with political experts and representatives of governments, media professionals, regional and international organizations including the European Union and the League of Arab States.
The Rabat Declaration comes at a crucial moment in the region’s history where women find themselves at a crossroads of challenges and opportunities. Conflicts, humanitarian crises, political transitions and economic hardships are tearing through the region and framing women’s demands as secondary on national and regional agendas.
Ra’edat Network is rapidly growing to become the largest network of its kind in the Arab states region, bringing together current and former women parliamentarians from the region. The network partners with political experts as well as regional and international actors to achieve gender equality in the political and public spheres. The European Union and UN Women support the network as part of their joint regional programme, Spring Forward for Women. Ra’edat Network members urge more women parliamentarians from the Arab states to join the network.
About Rabat Declaration
The Rabat Declaration calls upon legislative amendments to introduce appropriate quotas to kick start a positive change in women’s representation in politics, which in turn helps stability, democracy and sustainable development for societies. Women lawmakers vowed their commitments to realize those changes. The demands also focused on capacitating elected women to be able to assume their multiple roles (legislation, monitoring and representation) effectively and efficiently.
Further to that, the Declaration highlighted the need to alter the entrenched conventional cultures that slow-down women’s active engagement in the public and political arenas. This was further supported by the discussion with the attending media professionals to explore ways of communicating the right image of women parliamentarians. Political funding was highlighted as one of the central areas to boost women’s active engagement on the political level. As well, measures to combat corrupt political financing were emphasized.
For more information, please download:
Rabat Declaration- EN Feb 2016
Rabat Declaration- AR- Feb 2016
About Spring Forward for Women Programme
The Regional Programme for the Economic and Political Empowerment of Women in the Southern Mediterranean Region (“Spring Forward for Women”) provides a mechanism to advance the economic and political empowerment of women in the Southern Mediterranean region. The programme (2012-2016) supports women across the region, focusing on priority countries undergoing unrest, transition and reform, such as such as Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia, to have greater influence in shaping the future of their countries while protecting their previous gains. It connects stakeholders to ensure that marginalised women in these countries receive capacity building, advocacy, information and partnerships that address the barriers that have impeded their access and engagement in economic and public lives. The programme is financed through a contribution of €7 million from the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and of €1.2 million from the UN Women core budget.
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