Brief Description of the Programme
Given the nature of our work, Gender Equality is a major cross-cutting pillar of ABAAD’s programming. However, it is also a standalone programme which focuses on raising awareness about sex and gender, gender-based violence, gender equality, and Women, Peace, and Security (UNSCR 1325). Under the Gender Equality Programme, we also aim to promote and work towards achieving a gender equal society where women are empowered and included in social spheres, in addition to holding decision-making positions. Given that Middle Eastern countries tend to have patriarchal cultures where men generally dominate all elements of society, the lack of political and religious will to include women has also strengthened the social “norms” that support male dominance and that amplify the conditions that have led to inequality, violence, and unfair access to resources.
These “norms” and conditions that limit the autonomy of women and girls and increase their vulnerability to violence need to be drastically addressed and resolved. Thus, since its inception, the programme has operated through a number of strategies to effect the necessary changes to skew the patriarchal society into a more gender-equal one, including working with male stakeholders (engaging religious leaders, judges, lawyers, the Internal Security Forces, the Ministry of Social Affairs, and others), advocacy and policy-making, organisational, individual and community capacity building and raising awareness, resource development, technical support, and public speaking.