On 11-12 March, women trade union leaders from Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Bahrain, Iraq, Egypt and Kuwait convened in Beirut, Lebanon for a leadership training that was supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).
The workshop was opened with welcoming remarks by Antoun Antoun who congratulated the MENA women network for making the workshop possible. He further congratulated the work of the BWI in ensuring the 30 per cent representation of women in all BWI sectors. Wassim Rifi, BWI MENA Coordinator extended solidarity greetings on behalf of the BWI general secretary, Ambet Yuson and the regional representative Crescentia Mofokeng. He also recognized the important role trade unions play in promoting women within trade unions. Merin Abbas, the FES regional project director emphasized the importance of building strong women leadership in all BWI sector and that FES is committed to support strengthening the BWI MENA women network.
The objectives of the workshop were:
To assess, strengthen and further develop the Arab Women’s Network to strengthen campaigning and organizing support at the various levels within BWI so that they play an active role in all BWI campaigns, particularly focusing on gender equality;
To equip women trade unionists with necessary leadership, organizing, and campaign skills for them to become effective leaders within their unions, BWI, and communities;
To discuss, strategize and develop a common platform to advance women in the BWI sectors within the Arab region; and
To intensify the BWI’s global campaign for gender equality and “Value Women’s Work”, within the Arab Region.
In addition to revisiting the BWI MENA Women Network 2018-2021 achievements to date, the workshop also focused on how to lead successful campaigns, organizing drives specifically geared towards women, and negotiation strategies. The women leaders used the workshop to prepare their national 2019 work plan to intensify the BWI’s global campaign for gender equality and “Value Women’s Work”, within their nations unions and communities at the national and regional level. and the Arab Region.