The Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” organized a Training of Trainers on “Empowering Women – Active Participation in Policy and Decision Making Process in Morocco” on 22 and 23 September 2017 in Rabat, Morocco.
Ten women who are representatives of political parties, local and regional authorities and civil organizations participated in the training. For two days they developed their skills and knowledge in order to further organize trainings to empower women in decision-making process.
The training was opened by the Executive Director of the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” (BSoP), Mrs. Irina Alexieva, the Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to Morocco, H.E. Boryana Simeonova and the Director of the Moroccan Citizenship School of Political Studies Mr. Youssef Laaraj.
H.E. Ambassador Simeonova officially opened the training on the day of the national holiday of Bulgaria and one day after the Islamic New Year. She welcomed the interest of the participants to engage with the development of Morocco. The Bulgarian diplomat identified the participants as the future of Morocco and encouraged them to develop their skills and knowledge in order to maintain friendly relations between Bulgaria and Morocco.
Youssef Laaraj reminded the long-standing partnership between the BSoP and the Moroccan Citizenship School of Political Studies. He reviewed the various educational initiatives for young people and women in Morocco and the role of similar training programs for the development of the new generation of political and civic leaders and their empowerment. Mr Laaraj addressed the role of education and the need to reform it. “First, we have to decide what kind of young people and women we want to develop, with what kind of values and in what way and then to move on to reforms.”
Special case studies were prepared by Mrs. Latifa Soufiani and the international coach, Mr. Mustapha El Haddad, through which participants developed their leadership and communication skills and saw how the learning process of adults is done in practice.
At the end of the day the participants and lecturers were welcomed at a reception given by the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Morocco H.E. Boryana Simeonova. The reception was attended also by representatives of other diplomatic missions.
The second day of the training began with the presentation of Mrs. Raja Morjani, an international human rights expert. Mrs. Morjani made an overview of women’s participation in political and public life in Morocco. She made an overview of the effect of the new Moroccan constitution from 2011 on the women’s rights and the introduction of women’s quotas for senior electoral posts. Before the changes, 0.66% of the Moroccan parliament members were women. In 2011 this percentage is already 17%. Today, 81 out of 395 seats in Moroccan Parliament are taken by women.
One participant compared the status of women’s rights in some areas of Morocco such as “getting off the donkey and boarding on the plane.” Another participant who lives in a small settlement shared her experience that she was the first woman ever to visit the local café.
The participants united on the conclusion that, in order to improve the status of women, they have to learn to network, to fight together for global aims and to cooperate.
In the second part of the day, the participants learned how effectively to defend their thesis in a TV debate. Every female participant had the opportunity to practice what they have learned by recording a 30-second speech and getting feedback from the TV and radio journalist Jalal Makhfi.
At the end of the day, Yassine Souidi, an expert of youth policy, presented the various ways to combine theoretical lectures and practical case studies in their future trainings.
The Training of Trainers was officially closed by the directors of the Bulgarian and Moroccan School of Politics who gave certificates to all of the participants.
The training was co-organized with the Citizenship School of Political Studies (Ecole Citoyenne des Etudes Politiques – ECEP) of Morocco and was funded by the International Organization of La Francophonie.