Schema regionally directs an unprecedented coalition for the advancement of women’s leadership in MENA
Amman, Jordan, November 2012
For over a year, sustainability advisory firm, Schema, has been in charge of regionally directing the mission and operations of ALWANE – a regional coalition of experienced and emerging leaders from 16 countries across the Middle East and North Africa who have come together to work towards the advancement of women’s leadership in the Arab World.
In the last decade, the MENA region has witnessed extraordinary social and political upheaval, with women often on the frontlines of popular action driving change. Despite the vast transformations already seen, the position of women remains restricted in many countries. The unprecedented ALWANE programme has been channelling and amplifying the momentum sweeping through the region.
Launched in May 2012 at major sub-regional conferences in Tunis, Dubai and Amman, ALWANE stands for the coalition of Active Leaders for Women’s Advancement in the Near East. In Arabic, “alwane” (pronounced Al-WA-nee) means “my colors,” a phrase which evokes both the ability to paint our own future and the power of diversity in leading change. Comprised of 16 national committees representing each Arab country, ALWANE seeks to raise awareness, generate discussion and motivate change around the principal challenges to women’s full participation in society. Operating at both a national and regional level, using innovative online platforms and engaging young new voices, ALWANE directly informs and connects with the public, raising the profile of the most pressing issues facing women today.
As the regional directing office for ALWANE, Schema’s team have been responsible for allocating committee officers in each of the 16 member Arab countries, arranging for the required capacity building programs, maintaining solid communication channels between the committees and the regional and head offices, managing the regional launching programs and the end-of-year summit, as well as moderating and mediating between committee members throughout the whole formation, launching, and execution phases. Schema’s team was also in charge of following up on progress of each committee planned activities and achieved objectives and maintain a reporting system on a monthly basis.
Strategic communications planning was also part of Schema’s responsibilities, making sure the programs gains utmost media exposure and promotes its mission to attract and engage more members to the different country committees and raise awareness on the agendas advocated for by each committee. Providing and managing the online portal for the whole coalition, alwane-mena.d1g.com, was also one of the major mandates of Schema, making sure the portal serves the communications objectives sought and facilitates networking and social media exposure for each committee through a dedicated country page for each.
Through sophisticated advocacy campaigns and targeted policy recommendations, the ALWANE country committees have been making significant progress for women across the Arab world. The committees include leading experts and academics of different genders from each country, as well as youth members adding their own distinct voice. Central to ALWANE’s philosophy is intergenerational cooperation, creating a sustainable, long-term coalition by nurturing future women leaders in a comprehensive mentorship programme. Enhancing the programme is an extensive online network, enabling users to share and discuss their ideas on the major contemporary challenges facing women in the MENA region.
The climax of the ALWANE Coalition’s activity was the two-day regional summit in November 2012 held in Amman, where the 16 committees gathered to share their success stories and sign a Convention on the Advancement of Women’s Leadership in the region. 130 men and women attended to celebrate the year’s achievements.
Among the summit participants were men and women youth, government officials, activists, academics, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and civil society leaders. The summit agenda focused on many pressing and vital issues related to women’s status as well as real-life success stories from various ALWANE country committees.
The summit agenda included interactive sessions, workshops and networking events where country delegates discussed and shed light on the issues and obstacles facing women in their respective countries and shared the results of their advocacy and policy work to date. A main deliverable at the summit was the official release of the ALWANE 2012 Regional Policy report, put together by Schema, and which consists of policy recommendations by the countries committees addressing the most pressing issues facing women in their respective countries; full copies of the reports in English and Arabic are available on http://schemaadvisory.com/features/.
ALWANE coalition is supported by “Women’s Campaign International (WCI)”, an international non-governmental organization that advances opportunities for women to actively participate in public advocacy, market and political processes.
“The strength and priorities of women’s empowerment movements vary tremendously across the region. As a result, collective, regional mobilization is essential to protect, consolidate and advance the region’s movement towards greater gender equality” commented Ms Maali Qasem, Regional Director of ALWANE Coalition and Founder & CEO of Schema Advisory. She added, “Schema and WCI’s teams have done a remarkable job in pulling this program together across 16 Arab countries. In just one year, the coalition’s use of innovative technologies, engagement of young, emerging voices, and unprecedented regional collaboration has led to inspiring success stories of nation-wide advocacy, awareness, and policy efforts that will motivate lasting change across the MENA region“.
A newly established Regional Coalition of experienced and emerging leaders from 16 countries to date across the Middle East and North Africa has come together to work towards the advancement of women’s leadership in the Arab World. ALWANE includes men and women academics, activists, experts, entrepreneurs and youth committed to social change and gender equality. Working at both a national and regional level, this coalition aims to generate discourse around pressing challenges to women’s full participation in society, as well as share intraregional success stories. By working together, this coalition aims to raise awareness, create a platform for dialogue, advocate for change and influence national, regional and international policies effecting women’s participation in society.
To find out more, visit ALWANE’s live discussion forums at http://alwane-mena.d1g.com/ and upload video, pictures, new articles and participate daily. Also, follow us on Twitter (@alwane_MENA) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/ALWANE.MENA) and share your voice.
About Women’s Campaign International
Working in more than 40 countries around the world, Women’s Campaign International (WCI), advances opportunities for women to actively participate in public advocacy, market and political processes. In providing the requisite skills, knowledge and culturally-sensitive support, WCI develops leaders who transform the lives of everyone they serve.
For more information, please visit www.womenscampaigninternational.org
Schema is an established advisory firm focused on Sustainability, providing value to clients through tailored solutions in Corporate Governance (CG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) across the MENA region. It is the only Sustainability advisory practice in the region that specializes purely in CG and CSR, maintaining a focus on and evolving with the rapid development in these fields.