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Women empowerment conference to gather activists from region at Dead Sea

By Rana Husseini - Aug 24,2019 - Last updated at Aug 24,2019

AMMAN —  Over 150 activists and leaders will gather at the Dead Sea on Monday to discuss the outcome of a two-year project that focused on increasing women leaders' knowledge of gender roles and women's rights in three countries.

The event, titled "Innovative Approaches to Women's Empowerment",  is being organised by the Gibran Chair at the University of Maryland (GCUM) as part of the Women as Partners in Progress (WPP) initiative. It aims to identify and advance key issues that affect women's daily lives and to amplify the voices of women leaders in Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait, according to a statement by the WPP. 

The WPP conference, which will be held at the Dead Sea Hilton Hotel, will hold panels from each partner organisation, highlighting their accomplishments and the results of their contribution to the empowerment of women in their countries, according to the WPP statement. 

The conference will be held under the patronage of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, and Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat is expected to deliver the keynote speech, the statement added.

The event will also feature plays and discussions, offering opportunities to engage in innovative cultural forms, the WPP statement added. 

"I envision these three days being a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, ideas, lessons learned, and best practices," said Director of the GCUM, May Rihani.

Arab women in the Middle East know what they need and what needs to change, Rihani said, adding that women are making changes across the region. 

Meanwhile, head of the Jordanian delegation Mayyada Abu Jaber, who is the CEO of World of Letters, the implementing partner for the project in the Kingdom, highlighted "the importance of collective action to create change, specifically when it comes to women's economic empowerment".

"We will be presenting Jordan's achievements in influencing policies related to women's economic participation as well as creating a mindset change of greater acceptance of women in unconventional jobs," Abu Jaber told The Jordan Times.

The WPP, which started in late 2017, is a project funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the US Department of State. 

WPP's goal is to promote women's leadership and gender-inclusive policies working with our three partners in Morocco, Jordan and Kuwait, according to the WPP statement.

In addition to the three delegations from Jordan, Morocco, and Kuwait, representatives from six other Arab countries are also attending, including Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank and Gaza, the WPP statement added. 

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