Women’s political participation in North Africa enhanced under UN-backed project

22 December 2009 – Women’s political participation in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia is to be enhanced under a new United Nations-backed project launched today for an innovative website to provide them access to information, the exchange of experiences, ideas and good practices.

The project – Strengthening women's leadership and participation in politics and decision-making in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – is being implemented by the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW) and the Tunisia-based Centre of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR), which promotes gender equality in the Arab World, and is financed by Spain.

“The use of new information and communication technologies such as videos, podcasts, key statistics, SMS (messaging), and interactive spaces such as quizzes, polls, social networking sites such as Facebook and discussion forums, will promote sharing of information and active participation in updating and expanding website content and in compiling good practices,” UN-INSTRAW said in a news release.

The project’s new website www.womenpoliticalparticipation.org has been created with a participatory vision and is available in Arabic, English and French.

Two new publications are available on the website. Mapping of the situation of women’s participation in politics in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, written by Boutheina Gribaa, analyses the current situation, challenges, obstacles and opportunities for women’s participation in politics and decision-making processes. By presenting good practices and the key actors involved in these processes, the mapping identifies the priority issues raised in the three countries.

Media coverage of the political participation of women in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, coordinated by Hamida El Bour, contributes to a better understanding of women’s representation in the media in the three countries. This research was conducted through a participatory approach which included graduate students in communications and the National Press Institutes of the countries. The “Media Exercise” is available in French on the project website.

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