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Programme Objective

With over one year into project implementation this briefing note provides an update of the programme activities carried out to date focusing on its three main and inter-linked programme components:
  • Monitoring and technical assistance to the ‘Enhancing Opportunities for Women in Economic Life’ (EOWEL) projects
 The first component involves monitoring and technical assistance to 7 NGO consortia, comprising of 30 partner organisations, implementing projects aimed at “Enhancing the Opportunities for Women in Economic Life (EOWEL)” in the MEDA region.* Most organisations are service oriented development organisations focusing on small and micro enterprise development, micro credit and capacity development. Some partners include women’s networks, incorporating a more rights oriented approach; others work with research institutes, chambers of industry/commerce and media institutes. Since early 2006 a broad range of activities is implemented by NGOs partners, including:
        • capacity building to increase women’s access to credit and business development services;
        • providing support to women in the start-up of micro and small enterprises;
        • providing unemployed women with vocational skills to increase job opportunities; 
        • setting up a Mediterranean centre for the promotion and development of home-based working women;
        • promoting women’s participation in policy debate on economic participation;
        • building national, regional and international business women’s networks;
        • Support the reflection of women’s economic contributions in the media. 
Overall the EUROMED EOWEL programme has provided the impetus to a number of civil society organisations in the MEDA region to venture into new in-country and cross-border partnerships or further develop established relationships. A clear value added is the inclusion of staff from selected NGOs partners in training activities as part of the strengthening networking among development practitioners. Good practice experiences are emerging in cross-cutting thematic areas such as capacity development, networking and partnerships, marketing and media and will be made available on the programme’s website.
  • Studies and database on Gender Mainstreaming policies in the Mediterranean countries
The second component initiates studies on Gender Mainstreaming policies in the Mediterranean countries and builds a database for policy formulation and planning that will reinforce women’s position in the economy. Early 2006 an annotated bibliography and literature review on recent studies was prepared on key areas for gender equality, such as family laws, gender based violence, social security, women’s economic participation, and international legal frameworks. A booklet was also compiled on ‘Monitoring the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in both English and Arabic. During 2006 two major studies have been undertaken in the Mediterranean countries covered by the EUROMED programme:
  • Assessment of National Women’s Machineries, examining in particular the ability of national machineries to address gender discriminatory legislations; 
  • Analysis of the Economic Situation of Women, including an analysis of several critical factors affecting women’s economic participation, such as family and labour laws.
For both studies a comparative assessment is being prepared. During 2007 / 2008 study results and the comparative assessments will be widely disseminated and debated at different regional and sub-regional seminars with key actors in the MEDA region. All final publications are made available on the website: www.euromedwomensrights.net
  • Awareness raising, dissemination of information and communication in support of gender mainstreaming
The third component of the programme provides a forum for linking and learning and contributes the insights generated through the EOWEL projects as well as the studies undertaken, to enhance accountability and responsiveness of the MEDA public institutions to women’s economic rights. This includes the collection and dissemination of results, exchange of information and networking among Euro med beneficiaries, cross- regional cooperation and synthesis of key lessons learned. Main communication tools include the EUROMED Women’s Rights quarterly newsletter, distributed widely to key actors in the region, the programme’s website, partner organisations meetings, technical workshops for capacity development and regional / sub-regional seminars for promoting study results and formulating policy and legal recommendations. For information please contact:
Nermine Wally, Programme Assistant: nermine.wally@britishcouncil.org.eg


*1-Femmes Entrepreneuses en Mediterranee: ENDA/Tunisia, Al Majmoua/Lebanon; Zakoura/Morocco; EACD/Egypt; Batik international and CLEF, France
2- Sustainable Economic Opportunities for Women in MENA region: CRTDA/Lebanon, FWID/Egypt, WIDE/Belgium
-3-Creating new Opportunities and Networking facilities for Marginalized Home Based working women: Planet Finance/Morocco; CWYF/Turkey, HUWRIC/Turkey
4- Gender Equality in Employment and Small Enterprise: El Mobadara/Egypt, El Masar/Jordan
5- Free to Work: Tatawor/Jordan and SVA/Gaza
6- Economic Empowerment of Rural Palestinian Women: NISPED/Israel; YEP/Palestine; Legaloop/Italy,  Diesis Coop Belgium
7- Economic Empowerment for Palestinian Women: Turning Business Ideas into Reality, CJAED/Israel; PMDI/Palestine, JWA/Palestine

Last updated: October 10, 2007
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication is the sole responsibility of the British Council and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.