The event started with an introduction by Hanan Rabani (UNFPA) who welcomed attendees and participants to the event.
Rania Tarazi (UNDP) then made a presentation on the Gender Justice Initiative – including an explanation of the methodology for national consultations.
Mehrinaz El Awady (ESCWA) moderated the discussion with panelists. The panelists were:
Dr Sabah Sami (Iraq) spoke from an academic perspective.
Ms Maissaa AlRaqishiah (Oman) spoke from her experience as a public prosecutor.
Ms Houda Alkawari (Qatar) spoke from a legal and policy perspective, as she is the Secretary of the National Committee for Women, Children, the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities.
Ms Najat Abdulla (Qatar) spoke from a policy perspective, as she is Director of the Family Affairs Department
Ms Amal Haddadin (Jordan) spoke from a legal perspective, as she works with the National Women’s Machinery.
Ms Jinan Limam (Tunisia) spoke from an academic perspective. She specifically commented on the fact that decisionmakers benefit from the reports at a national level, and it highlights evidence from countries to see the differences in progress.
All panelists commented on lessons learned from the national consultations, encouraged future updates to the reports, and commented on the need for more women to engage in public life and politics.
All panelists mentioned that being able to see the positive changes made in national legislation from a longitudinal perspective is very helpful. This data collection exercise is useful for countries to visualise the gaps, although some may feel that when an indicator is colored ‘red’ it is negative, but in fact this just presents a roadmap for the future. It is a comparative exercise designed to advance policymaking.
Simone Olunya (UN Women) moderated the Q&A and made concluding remarks. Questions related to the inclusion of different actors, such as the judiciary, in the national consultations. She thanked participants and appreciated the enthusiasm they displayed about the Initiative.
There were approximately 50 attendees.