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

E-Mediat: Combining Work With Fun…and Food!

IIE Team with Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Makati

IIE Team with Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Makati

Heather Murphy, Senior Program Officer, Global Partnerships at Institute of International Education shares her experiences from a recent visit to Jordan and Lebanon.

Last month I had the pleasure to traveling to Jordan and Lebanon with my colleague Stacey Ramirez to conduct site visits for E-Mediat. Jordan and Lebanon both have a special place in my heart for different reasons. Jordan was the first country I visited in the Middle East back in 2008 when I started working at IIE on the Women in Technology program. I had only been at IIE for a month before we started planning the trip! Lebanon is special to me because it is one of the countries that I visit most often for work and I long ago fell in love with the land, people and the food! So it was exciting to return working under a new program, seeing old faces along with the new! Continue reading

Sharing Moments from E-Mediat Lebanon Workshop

Heather Murphy, Senior Program Officer, Global Partnerships at Institute of International Education shares her experiences from a recent visit to Lebanon

Workshop on Personal Branding for NGOs in Lebanon

Workshop on Personal Branding for NGOs in Lebanon

The last week was particularly exciting for the E-Mediat program. I visited Lebanon to meet the E-Mediat participant NGOs and learn about the amazing work that they are doing. It was incredible to see the scope of work that is being accomplished by the NGO community here. They are such a dedicated group of individuals who are passionate about their cause and determined to create positive change within their communities, in Lebanon and beyond. Through the E-Mediat workshops they are learning how to use social media tools to increase the impact their organizations and raise awareness within their communities with regards to the NGO’s mission and organizational goals. Continue reading

Impressions from Tunisia and Morocco

Heather Murphy, Senior Program Officer, Global Partnerships at Institute of International Education shares her experiences from a recent visit to Tunisia and Morocco.

Heather Murphy enjoying her visit to Tunisia

I spent most of October conducting site visits to E-Mediat partners in Tunisia and Morocco. It was an amazing experience! As always, I am so impressed with the incredible work that the organizations involved in E-Mediat training do on a daily basis. And there is the added benefit of eating loads of delicious foods! Following the revolution, the NGO sector in Tunisia has been revitalized. The NGO sector is being redefined as more and more organizations are created every day. The E-Mediat program works to support the growth and build the capacity of new and existing NGOs and it is a wonderful experience to be here on the ground to see not only the E-Mediat program in action, but also have a firsthand look at the emerging NGO community. During my site visits to E-Mediat partners, I had the opportunity to meet with the leaders of participant NGOs from Sfax, a city about three hours south of Tunis. They spoke candidly about their hopes for the new government, their excitement for the upcoming elections and the joy they felt about be a part of history and having a voice in shaping Tunisia’s future. Continue reading