The UfM Ministerial Process on strengthening the role of women in society is a major regional tool to promote gender equality across the Euro-Med region. Following up on the Ministerial Conclusions, Euromed Feminist Initiative with the support of the European Union, launched in 2015, a civil society-led dialogue process between civil society, legislators and political decision makers, which resulted in a Gender Regional Platform that has involved over 700 participants during 14 national and two regional dialogues as well as two women’s rights Euro-Med Conferences. The Platform was seen as a means to promote progressive social policies in the area of gender equality, primarily through the UfM Ministerial Process on strengthening the role of women in society, with concrete proposals for policy actions that go beyond political rhetoric, incorporate regional priorities and are responsive to national realities. The Civil Society Conference organized by EFI with the support of the EU on November 22nd-23rd, 2017 in Cairo, back– to back the 4th UfM Ministerial Meeting on women’s rights, marked a final step in this process. It gathered over 130 participants from 26 countries: representatives from 107 organisations and networks, as well as from academia and media. Participants shared expertise and analyses of the situation in the region, exchanged experiences from the field, and based on the priorities and policy orientations of the Gender Regional Platform, produced recommendations for concrete policy measures to be implemented by the governments. The Gender Regional Platform and the Cairo Civil Society Declaration fulfil their initially planned role and are now used by the civil society as tools to widen the discussions on ways to improve the status of gender equality policy making in the region.
The 4th UfM Ministerial Conference produced a strong Ministerial Declaration (November 2017 Cairo). In order to follow up on the Ministerial process, Euromed Feminist Initiative in partnership with the member organizations in Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine and Algeria held national dialogues to discuss follow up and monitoring mechanisms for the implementation of the Ministerial commitments on national levels.
During the dialogues, participants discussed the Ministerial Declaration from the 4th UfM ministerial meeting on women’s rights (27/11/2017, Cairo) and the Declaration of the Civil Society Conference that Euromed Feminist Initiative organized back to back the 4th UfM Ministerial meeting on women’s rights( (22-23/11/2017, Cairo) with policy recommendations to be implemented before the 5th UfM Ministerial Meeting . They also discussed ways and means to follow up on the governmental commitments to implement gender equality policy and national mechanisms for the implementation of the Declaration from the 4th UfM Ministerial Conference on women’s rights.
Furthermore, Euromed Feminist Initiative in partnership with Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development ACT and with the support of the European Union will hold a national dialogue on “Following up on the 4th UfM Ministerial Meeting on women’s rights” on 10-11 July 2018 in Cairo, Egypt.