Institute of Progressive Women Uses Social Media to Empower Women

Stacey Ramirez, Program Officer, Global Partnerships, Institute of International Education, writes on how E-Mediat participating NGOs are using social media to usher change in their communities.

Wafa Abed, President of the Institute of Progressive Women

Wafa Abed, President of the Institute of Progressive Women

Amending laws that discriminate against women and promoting the passage of laws that empower them and allow them to be part of the decision-making process at all levels is one of the main tenets of the Lebanese non-governmental organization The Institute of Progressive Women (IPW).
As a manager at BBAC Bank in Beirut, Wafa Abed, the president of IPW, was surprised to learn that Lebanese law prohibited mothers from opening a bank account in the name of a minor, even while acting as their guardian. She found out one day in 2009 when she bumped into Barbara Batlouni, country director of AMIDEAST, who had just tried to open an account for her children and was denied. Wafa, currently an E-Mediat participant in Beirut, told her, “Barbara, if we can get this law changed, the first account opened will be by you.” And with that, IPW, which works to amend laws that discriminate against women, launched an initiative to change the law, as part of USAID’s Transparency and Accountability Grants project. Continue reading