From the 25th to the 29th of November, EuroMed Feminist Initiative, along with the Equality and Citizenship Center, organized a training of trainers on “Applying the ABC for a gender-sensitive Constitution in promoting gender equality and women’s rights” in Beirut. The 5-day event allowed the trainers to face the challenges of their mission, to better know their roles and to improve their technical skills.
The 12 trainers attending the training started by presenting their own work on different topics: feminism and Gender, international treaties and resolutions incorporating women’s rights such as CEDAW and the UNSCR 1325, the role of women in the Constitution and democracy building, the quota system and violence against women.
On the two following days, Dr. Draji conducted the sessions, guiding the trainers and giving them precious advice to look more confident and to feel more empowered. The trainers were presented different challenging scenarios through which they had to show their flexibility. The sessions focused mainly on body language, on how to get an audience to listen in a disciplined way, how to attract the audience by asking relevant questions and how not to get overwhelmed by questions and interventions of the participants. A session was dedicated to the challenges and how to overcome them. The participating trainers expressed their biggest fears when conducting a training: having to answer to aggressive people from the audience, having to deal with out-of-context participants and finally, presenting their opinion without hurting other’s were the main challenges that the trainers admitted facing. Dr. Draji advised them they should know their audience before and during the training in order to weigh everyone’s opinions and point of views on different questions. The participants learned that with the right attitude and the right words, messages can travel further.
The trainers then took the last two days to wrap it up, incorporating Dr. Draji’s constructive remarks and each presenting a new topic under the attentive eyes of their colleagues. They presented the ABC on a gender-sensitive Constitution and the necessity of applying it on the ground. They also presented how to engender the constitutional language and how to guarantee its implementation. Each got the chance to learn from the other’s mistakes, all growing towards better spreading democracy and the importance of a gender-sensitive Constitution.