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CHANGING THE DESTINY OF WOMEN DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Can you imagine that due to COVID-19, several problems related to women have only increased, but these issues haven’t been given attention? For years, different NGOs worked on empowering women and gender equality, but with the unexpected appearance of an invisible enemy (the virus), those activities that used to raise awareness about injustices and discrimination against women have been stopped.

On Tuesday, July 21,  Fatima Zahra Laaribi, Administrative Support and Finance, Farmer-to-Farmer program and I participated in a virtual platform in the Multi-Stakeholder Hearing Accelerating the Realization of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of All Women and Girls as part of the preparations for the high-level meeting of the General Assembly in accordance with UN GA resolution. The virtual platform was held and facilitated by the United Nations Conference Services, and it was live-streamed on UN Web TV and social media channels. Participants entailed world leaders, NGO representatives, and intergovernmental organizations from around the world.

The main objective of the multi-stakeholder hearing was to evaluate the outcomes and recommendations of the 25-year review processes as well as the situation of women in the 64th session of the Commission. In addition, it was an opportunity to exchange experiences and lessons about women’s situations among speakers from various countries through interactive dialogues for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

I noticed that the situation of women in each country differs from their needs. One of the critical areas identified by the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is violence against women and education. Besides physical and sexual violence, women also experience state-perpetrated gender-based violence. Empowerment must begin from home. Both parents should equally participate in the children’s activities apart from other household responsibilities. Also, an honest and courteous exchange of ideas can plant the seed for successful equality. I believe that those three words can be the first step toward the resolution of women’s issues in general: education, empowerment, and equality.

The High Atlas Foundation’s heart is with women. It has the vision to continue to provide as much support as possible by preparing and developing new trainers for the IMAGINE Women’s Empowerment Program. Coaches will host and facilitate virtual webinars in order to train the apprentices. Once COVID-19 is under control and conditions are safe, HAF will begin direct workshops with women in their communities as always and provide them the support they need.