WILPF MENA Agenda 1325 is hosting a side-event at the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council on the integration of women’s rights and gender equality in the constitutional reform process in transitional MENA countries.

Voices from Libya, Tunisia, Yemen

In the past year, Tunisian women played a central role in drafting one of the most progressive constitutions in the region. Yemini women participated in the national dialogue conferences and had a significant input on the functions of the civil state. Libyan women engaged in discussing their national priority while addressing the critical transitional period. Under the title “Can women’s rights and gender equality shape the new constitutions in the MENA region?” WILPF International arranged for three prominent women human rights activists and strategic thinkers from Libya, Yemen and Tunisia to speak about their experiences, challenges and prospects within the constitutional reform process in their countries.

CEDAW and women’s participation

The event will also address the impact and implementation of the new General Recommendation 30 to CEDAW that strongly reaffirms the role of women’s real and meaningful participation in shaping the new constitutions. The aim is to capitalise on the immediate transition period being a strategic opportunity to adopt legislative and policy measures to eliminate discrimination against women and ensure women have equal opportunities to participate in the new governance structures.

The speakers will share the lessons learned within the process and discuss with the audience and representatives of Member States how can the international community contribute to strengthen the women’s rights agenda in transition periods.

The speakers at the event will be,

Radhia Vej Haj Zekri: Former President and co-funder of AFTURD, Tunisia

Amal Basha: Chair person for Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights, Yemen

Zahra Langhiz: Co-funder, Libyan Women Platform for Peace, Libya

The welcome address will be presented by Ms Pramila Patten, member of the CEDAW Committee and Madeleine Rees, Secretary general of WILPF International, will moderate the event.