On Wednesday 15 January, British Ambassador to Morocco Clive Alderton attended and gave a speech at a sharing and learning event organised by the British Council as part of their regional project entitled ‘Women Participating in Public Life.’
In his opening remarks, the Ambassador said “what makes this project particularly exciting is the different levels at which it operates. It is very effective at the personal level – in equipping women practically and psychologically to take the place they deserve (and which society so needs them to occupy) in the public life of the four countries. It also supports the organisations that in turn sustain women, so that they continue in a process of mutual support and learning that is becoming self-sustaining.”
Funded by the UK’s Arab Partnership Programme, the project has helped women activists to conduct academic research which will help them gain confidence and advocate for women’s inclusion in political life. The event offered the opportunity to the 4 groups of women representing NGOs from Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia to present findings of the research they have conducted since the launch of the project in October 2012.
In Morocco, the research shows that women are becoming more active in civil society, but are disenchanted with politics. Moroccan women need self confidence. Moreover, there are many provisions in thecountry’s new constitution regarding women’s participation in politics which need to be implemented in full. Research in the other participating countries revealed some similar issues, showing that women are discouraged from participating in politics and policy-making. The research outcomes will be used for advocacy on the ground in favour of better inclusion of women in politics and in public life.