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Strengthening Moroccan Women's Participation in Politics

In July 2002, USAID/Morocco and dot-ORG began a three-month information and communications technology (ICT) training project, aimed at enhancing the political participation of Moroccan women.

Local trainers, Jalila Otky and Nadia El Mechrafi (standing), working with participants during training. Forty six women political candidates and NGO representatives participated in two three-day training events where they learned how to use ICTs to enhance political campaigns, strengthen advocacy skills, carry out Internet research for informed decision-making, and better serve their communities.

The bilingual (French and Arabic) Information Technology in the Service of Women in Politics Project (les technologies de l'information au service de la femme politique), represents AED's first associate award under dot-ORG and the first in a two-phase ICT training program to increase the political participation of Moroccan women. This program is part of a national effort to increase the number of female political candidates in Morocco and to enhance their capacity to use ICTs.

The hands-on training demonstrated:
  • Electronic networking through email, list-servs, and on-line discussion fora.
  • Use of Internet research tools (search engines, web portals and web sites) to become better informed decision-makers.
  • Effective presentation skills through word processing, Excel, and PowerPoint software.
The participants were a mix of candidates nominated by the national political parties and other unaffiliated women active in various NGOs. In addition to the formal training activities during the three-day event, the women participated in discussions around broad issues of ICTs, gender, and policy making.

TOT participant prepares for ICT training session To prepare for the ICT training and to build indigenous capacity, ten Moroccan women participated in an intense five-day training-of-trainers (TOT) activity. The expert TOT trainers, Ms. Nadira Sansour, an American-Palestinian woman with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), a dot-ORG resource partner, and Ms. Halima Abouid, an experienced Moroccan trainer, developed and implemented the TOT program with assistance from Morocco Trade and Development Services (MTDS), another dot-ORG resource partner organization.

The first participant training event was conducted by the ten women under the supervision of the two TOT trainers. A second three-day training event is planned for late August to give the ten trainers the experience of planning and carrying out an activity with limited supervision. The same women participants will be invited to this second training to deepen their knowledge of PowerPoint, Excel, and electronic networking.

Later in the year, an additional ICT training activity funded by USAID/Washington will be carried out by MTDS with the ten trainers. This second phase will give 100 women living outside of Rabat and Casablanca an opportunity to learn basic computer and Internet skills. Women currently involved in community development in Morocco represent a group of activists that, with training, are among the most likely to become politically active.

AED was awarded the Information Technology in the Service of Women in Politics Project on April 24, 2002 for three months (Award No. 608-A-00-02-00054-00 under the dot-ORG Leader Award No.GDG-A-00-01-00014-00.)

For more information, please contact:
Eric Rusten, Deputy Director, dot-ORG
Tel: +1 202 884-8714