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Women Empowerment and Local Development

During the last years Jordan and Lebanon have taken some steps on the level of policies and legislation with regard to the improvement of women's participation. But despite all this achievements, there are still many challenges women are faced. The fact that women are less capable than men, that they should stay away from politics and economic life is seemingly deeply rooted in the subconscious of the Arab mentality, and that is not only the perspective of men in Jordan and Lebanon, but also of women itself. Through all levels of society traditional gender roles prevent political, social and economic participation of women. Due to the social situation, many women lack the will to self-help, self-responsibility and self-initiative.

Women often lack sufficient knowledge and experience to be professional in political and social issues. They have knowledge gaps in terms of constitutional, national and international rights, lacking basic knowledge of policy-making processes and policy tools (arguing convincingly, setting budgets, public relations, etc.).  Especially in rural areas, many women lack basic life skills such as conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, creative and critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills.

Many local organizations (CBOs) lack the knowledge and skills to identify the needs of the community members they represent, especially disadvantaged groups such as women. Moreover, the CBOs do not have the structures needed to successfully implement their mandate. An own vision of comprehensive political and socio-political goals and good strategies to achieve these goals (for example, concrete action with and for women) are not developed.