British Council Conference to Raise Awareness on Women’s Rights in Middle East and North Africa

CAIRO, Egypt, March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

This year, the British Council has chosen to mark International Women’s Day by organising a conference followed by a series of workshops to learn about the tools and the best practise in raising awareness about gender issues. The conference will also present case studies for successful awareness-raising campaigns. The event will take place in Istanbul, Turkey from 04 to 06 March 2012.

This event comes as a response to the “Arab Spring to Arab Summer: Women’s Rights in the Constitution” conference that was organised by the British Council in the United Kingdom in November 2011, where participants expressed the need for further practical training and tools to help raise awareness in their countries on issues related to women’s rights.

The conference aims at enabling organisations and individuals working in the field of women’s enhancement to explore how to harness the power of the media, nationally and internationally, in building awareness campaigns for women’s rights.

NGOs, Influencers, decision-makers, social activists, and media representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa will discuss the unprecedented opportunity to increase awareness on gender issues. The participants will include men as well as women coming from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

In organising the conference, the British Council has worked closely with Thomson Reuters and the gender equality consultancy Shevolution.

The British Council in the Middle East and North Africa is working towards developing cultural relations responses to the new issues now facing the region including gender related issues.

The conference is part of the British Council’s work to build trust for the UK through education, English, arts and culture. The organisation works across the Middle East and North Africa to help improve skills and the development of stronger civil societies, and has been active in the region since the 1930s.

Martin Davidson, British Council Chief Executive, who spoke on the opening day of the conference organised during November 2011, said: “The role played by young people in the recent upheavals in the Arab world has caught the attention of the world. Less noticed, but potentially every bit as far-reaching, are the changes effected and sought by women – of all ages. Across the Middle East and North Africa, women are voicing thoughts on how their countries are run, asking to make a greater contribution to their societies, and protesting against injustice. An extraordinary opportunity is now emerging.

“The British Council has been working for many years with Middle Eastern partners to improve women’s access to education and economic benefit, and I am delighted that we are trusted by organisations, activists and others from the region to convene this important discussion on women’s rights.”

Notes to Editors:

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 over 100 countries in the arts, education and English and in 2010/11 we engaged face to face with 30 million people and reached 578 million. For more information, please visit:

SOURCE British Council

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