EuroMed Feminist Initiative organized a 5-day training of trainers (TOT) on the “ABC for a gender-sensitive Constitution” in Beirut, Lebanon. The event, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), was held from the 18th to the 22nd of December 2019. It gathered 10 Syrian participants, from lawyers, human rights defenders, women rights activists and volunteers working with local communities on women’s rights and on women’s participation in all aspects of public life.
The aim of this TOT is to help create a pool of strong feminist trainers that are capable of conducting trainings on the manual ABC for a gender-sensitive Constitution. Each trainee will disseminate the knowledge gained to 100 people through trainings on the ABC thus reaching out to an important pool of people inside Syria.
Dr. Ibrahim Daraji, an international law professor and constitutional expert, conducted the training and walked the participants through the steps of achieving an efficient training. He discussed the characteristics of a good trainer such as the listening and presentation skills, the ability to manage a dialogue session and the ability to keep the trainees engaged and interested. He also highlighted the steps to be taken in the preparatory phase, and the things to be done during and after the training to achieve the objectives. Finally, he gave tips on how to deal with stressful and uncomfortable situations, mitigate conflicts that might arise during a session, counter bad dynamics and make the form and content of the trainer’s presentation appealing.
On the first day, the floor was given to the participants who presented different topics such as Violence Against Women, international conventions tackling women’s rights, national legislation and the quota system. The fourth and fifth day were focused on the content of the ABC for a gender-sensitive constitution. Participants focused on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by a gender-sensitive constitution and the fact that there is no real democracy without a gender sensitive constitution that guarantees equal opportunities for women and guarantees their right to participate in the public life.
These 5-days of training provided a safe space for the activist to exchange experience with each other, benefit from each other’s feedback and build on each other successes.