The World Forum on Democracy 2018 was held during 19-21 November 2018 in Strasbourg, France. This annual event once again gathered around 2500 intellectuals, politicians, activists, experts and young people from all over the world to discuss the topic “Gender equality: whose battle?”.
3 plenary debates, 8 round tables, 13 labs and a series of side-events allowed participants to exchange on a variety of specific issues related to women’s rights, gender equality and combating violence against women. Many of these activities featured civil society initiatives born in southern Mediterranean partner countries such as Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco. For instance:
- Fadwa Kamal, Trainer and Digital expert for the Youth Society Empowerment (YES), an independent Moroccan NGO, presented a civil society initiative aiming at raising awareness amongst Moroccan girls and women regarding national and international laws on sexual harassment, violence and extortion, as well as at teaching them ways to share their stories on social media (LAB 11).
- Aseel Naamani, Director of Programmes at the Resource Centre for Gender Equality (ABAAD) in Lebanon, presented their national awareness-raising campaign “A White Dress Does Not Cover the Rape” that led to the Abolition of Article 522 on rape marriage in June 2017 (LAB 3).
- Rabéa Naciri, member of the National Human Rights Council in Morocco as well as of several human rights and women's rights organisations and networks, shared her expertise and experience during round table 5.
With the support of South Programme III, delegations of the Moroccan and Tunisian Schools of Political Studies participated in various activities organised during this event.
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The South Programme III is a joint programme of the Council of Europe and the European Union, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.