Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) will increase Syrian refugee women’s ability to create positive change for their communities through the Participation and Empowerment of Syrian Refugee Women in Jordan and Lebanon project, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). The initiative will work with individual Syrian women and with local organizations providing services to them.
Building on their work with refugee communities thus far, WLP Jordan/SIGI-J and WLP Lebanon/CRTD.A will conduct culturally adapted training programs for Syrian refugee women on leadership, human rights, and community organization. The workshops create an environment for women to recognize their rights, re-examine their concept of self, and collaborate with others. Afterwards, participants will carry out projects and step-down trainings to disseminate what they have learned to their families and communities with coaching from WLP Partners. Some Syrian women will be given the opportunity to be further trained as advocates for refugee populations in Jordan and Lebanon, which are rarely given a voice in policy or humanitarian circles.
To build the capacity of local organizations working with Syrian Refugees, SIGI-J and CRTD.A will also lead workshops for NGO workers in these sectors. The trainings will emphasize participatory leadership, women’s human rights, steps to end gender-based violence, community organizing, peacebuilding, and the understanding of women refugees as change agents. WLP is developing the training materials to fit the cultural context and is making them freely available online in the WLP Learning Center.
Strengthened communication among stakeholders in the refugee community is a core element of this initiative. The networks formed will allow for the knowledge produced during this project to be spread exponentially throughout the region. In the long term, this will translate into increased participation of refugee women advocates in policy dialogues at national and international levels.
The Partnership has already achieved success with this ground-up approach during a number of similar workshops conducted in Lebanon in 2017. WLP will continue to use this empowerment-focused methodology to catalyze progress for refugee women’s rights.
On Thursday January 31, four women were appointed to Lebanon’s new cabinet, the largest number of female appointees in Lebanon’s history. Since 2005, no more than two women at a time have served as cabinet members, and Lebanon’s most recent cabinet only had one female member.
In December, WLP Jordan/SIGI celebrated their 20th anniversary. Over 600 Jordanians from all 12 governates gathered together to celebrate all that SIGI/J has done to ensure equality for women and men in Jordan, and beyond.