Tha'era members visit the Fabian Society after learning about it's Women's Mentoring programme; something they hope to replicate in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Labour Party hosted a three day event in London which brought together women from three networks: Tha'era; the CEE Network for Gender Issues; and the UK based Fabian Women's Network.
The event shared the Fabian Women's Network's experience of developing a mentoring programme and how the lessons they have learned can be applied to developing a mentoring platform in the Middle East and North Africa region. The benefits of developing a mentoring platform are vast: they can help women learn new skills and overcome common barriers quickly in an environment that encourages dialogue and support.
The Fabian Women's Network (FWN) has operated a mentoring programme for women for four years which has already mentored 100 women. Many of its alumni have taken on new jobs and responsibilities including cabinet roles in local authorities. This has been made possible by the support the women received and by the network facilitated by the FWN.
The Arab Women's Network -- Tha'era -- has received support from the Labour Party since its inception in 2013. In two years, it has formally trained 150 women through a bespoke training programme and hundreds more informally through the space created by the network. The next step for Tha'era is to further support women who aspire to leadership -- be that in Parliament, local government or in the workplace -- and they hope to achieve this through a regional mentoring programme.
The CEE Network for Gender Issues, a network established in the late 1990s, hopes to support Tha'era in developing this programme whilst also linking it up with another new mentoring initiative based in Eastern Europe. With over 25 years experience of building the capacity of women in nascent democracies, the CEE Network is well placed to partner with the Labour Party in this endeavour.
The findings from the meeting in London will now be developed into a full proposal which we hope to deliver later this year -- watch this space!
Did you attend the event in London? Let us know your thoughts below.