We’re excited to announce that we have finalized the location for our first meeting of the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative (BMENA) – we’ll be in Doha, Qatar, July 11 and 12!

One recurring theme over the past eight BMENA meetings has been the theme of women’s rights and equal participation in the region.  For this reason this first regional workshop will focus on women’s empowerment. In addition to the League staff that will be in attendance, we will be joined by Judy Duffy, LWVUS First Vice President and June Zeitlin, Director of the CEDAW Education Project of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights as subject experts in the areas of advocacy and the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  Judy has been chair of the LWVUS Advocacy since 2008 and June has been spearheading the efforts to have CEDAW ratified by the U.S. Senate.  We will also be joined by one or two speakers from the BMENA countries – their names will be announced soon.

The implementation of CEDAW and strategies for advocacy are in high demand in the region so the League is delighted to lead the discussions on these important topics.

Participants will include a mix of long-standing BMENA NGOs and some civil society organizations new to the process.  In particular, the workshop will include youth-oriented organizations to reach a new generation of civil society activists.  Government representatives will also be invited to participate.

Doha which means "the big tree" is the capital city of the state of Qatar located on the Persian Gulf.  Doha is Qatar's largest city and the economic center of the country.  Doha also serves as the seat of government which is ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.  Doha has a subtropical arid climate and temperature in the summer frequently reach or surpass 50 °C  or 122° F.