Dead Sea, Jordan: The WPP Final Conference was a three-day event focused on the results of the gender empowerment strategies implemented in the Arab world, in particular, the three WPP countries. Cultural events were a running thread throughout the Conference. The Conference was held at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center at the Dead Sea from August 25 - 28, 2019.
Over the three days, 30 diverse women and men speakers took the stage, as well as a flash mob, dance groups, and theater troupes.
The Conference was held under the auspices of H.E. Dr. Omar Razzaz, Prime Minister of Jordan. Deputizing for the Prime Minister was H.E. Jumana Ghunaimat, State Minister for Media Affairs, and government spokesperson. The more than 150 participants hailed from 12 countries including Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Algeria, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya, and the US in addition to the three WPP partner countries Jordan, Morocco, and Kuwait.
This historical event gathered urban and rural women from a myriad of sectors who presented both a highlight of the last two years of activities under the WPP project as well as quantitative and qualitative data, statistics and stories to raise the voices of Arab women and their empowerment and participation in economic, academic, political, and decision-making positions.
Click here to see the three-day program.
Amongst the results that were discussed at the Conference was the process that WPP Women Leaders and their allies used in Jordan and Morocco to change articles of the law that either discriminate against women or limit their choices. Two such articles and laws were successfully changed; one addressed the issue of women and the labor force (Article 69 in Jordan), and the other was on women and violence (Law 103-13 in Morocco).
Another important process that was presented by the speakers from the three partnering countries was the process of changing mindsets. In Jordan, for example, they worked with the Ministry of Education as well as the directorship of the National Center for Curriculum Development to map textbooks within the Jordanian educational system in order to improve the portrayal of women and men, and girls and boys. WPP-Jordan mapped exactly 100 textbooks and recommended improvements in the portrayals of women and men, boys and girls. Many factors contributed to the success of this activity, including the approval of the recommendations by the Director of the National Center for Curriculum Development as well as by the Ministry of Education.
Another example of the process of changing mindsets are the three plays that were created in the three WPP implementing countries.Tawazon in Jordan, Maktub in Morocco, and Kiri Miri in Kuwait. These plays addressed women and the labor force; women and inheritance, and women and traditional norms such as early marriage. All three plays were presented at different venues and universities in each country and an interactive discussion with the audience took place every time they were performed.
In summary, the Final WPP Conference was a total success given that it highlighted results and the methodologies on how to reach these results.
"Maktub" by the theatre group Issil for theatre and culture (Morocco)
"Tawzun" by The Jordan Performing Arts Center (Jordan)
Flash mob (Jordan):