Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Women Participating in Public Life-Empowering Women-Sharing with and Learning from


British Council concluded today its regional event ‘Empowering women: sharing with and learning that tool place from 13-15 January in Casablanca to highlight the challenges faced by women in public life across Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.

Around 40 participants representing women’s civil society groups in Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya have met in Casablanca to share expertise and learn new strategies for utilising their findings as a result of new research.

The British Council, as part of its Women Participating in Public Life Project, has, with the support of INTRAC*, provided training to representatives of civil society groups from the four countries on action research and has helped them develop their own Research Activity plan.

What are the obstacles facing women’s participation in the public life? How do we increase women’s participation in political processes through improving their self-confidence and economic independence? How effective are existing mechanisms for improving women’s self-confidence and economic independence at increasing women’s participation in political/public processes? How does society view the participation of women in political processes at different levels?

 These are questions that have been raised by the participants and based their national research on. The action research, which started in July 2013, provide important lessons and strategies for addressing challenges and bringing about change, and highlight areas requiring further attention going forward.  Reports highlighting the outcomes and informing the strategies will be published in April 2014.

 From Egypt a delegation took part in the seminar: Sara Samy Mohammad Khairy, the Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women (ADEW); Eman Atef Abdelbaky, the Egyptian Democratic Academy (EDA); Theresa Samir Mousa, Egypt Development and Democratic Progress Association; Heba Adel Sayed Bekhit, the Coordination at Coalition of Women in Egypt; Naglaa Abouelmagd Aly, the Coordination of Coalition of Women in Egypt; Sahar Salah Mahmoud, the Egyptian Centre for Women's Right.

Tamara Alkhas, Regional Society Programmes Manager in the British Council explained the initiative saying: “The Women Participating in Public Life Project is based on the fact that the changes sweeping the Middle East have offered an opportunity for women’s voice to be better heard, yet it represented a challenge in how to build mechanisms to bring women’s issues, participation and rights to the forefront in the middle of the chaos. The Arab Partnership Fund, which is supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development supported the British Council’s initiative to address this need.”

 The programme will work towards helping civil society organisations through building their capacity in conducting solid and scientific research that will formulate building networks and coalitions of these organisations.  The findings of the research will be used as the basis of policy recommendations. It is anticipated that the civil society organisations involved will, as a result of this programme, form networks and grassroots forums that contribute to the development and allow for the sharing of concerns with various levels including decision and policy makers.


 For further information contact:

Rose marie Gad, Communication Manager, British Council Egypt

Tel: +(202) 3344 3076


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

 We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

 For more information, please visit: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through and



An International NGO Training and Research Center providing training, consultancy and research services to international development and relief organisations. Strengthening civil society across the world.

 INTRAC is a hugely experienced provider and facilitator of Action Research. We have supported the use of Action Research approaches in a wide variety of civil society organisations and international development projects and programmes, and have written and published numerous papers on this topic. For more info check their website on: