It was organized in collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) at the United Nations (UN) and held in Tunis, Tunisia from October 5-6, 2010. The primary objective of the colloquium was to provide UN member states with expert opinions and recommendations regarding policies to empower women in the political, economic, and social fields. The colloquium addressed key issues, including gender empowerment and the socio-economic development of society, the main impediments in the region, the adoption of appropriate policy responses and legal reforms, the role of the state and the ways and means to join forces with civil society to empower women. Over a period of two days, experts, UN representatives and those from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that deal with social development from different regions of the world discussed achievements and challenges facing women in the world, particularly Arab women, and explored the empowerment of women in multiple contexts, promoting an exchange of ideas and experiences. The participants identified effective policy responses as well as best practices, taking into account the region’s political, social, economic, and cultural aspects and provided policy recommendations that should be implemented by the state and other stakeholders.
It was organized by DIFI in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Family Affairs from November 19-20, 2008 in Doha, Qatar. It coincided with the UN’s March 2008 launch of a multiyear campaign to end violence against women that aimed to strengthen political commitments and enhance efforts at all levels to end such violence as well as find specific answers to this issue. At this occasion, the Secretary General of the UN presented an in-depth study on violence against women that included key finding and recommendations. Guided by the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, and inspired by beliefs on better educating and strengthening the family as a basic unit of society, DIFI organized the first event in the Middle East and North Africa after the launch of the UN campaign. During the colloquium, UN representatives, academicians, jurists, and experts from Arab regional organizations and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) met with the goals of (1) raising awareness on the nature, extent, and causes of violence against women in the region and worldwide; (2) collaborating among different stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers international organizations, and civil society, particularly NGOs, in order to exchange information and best practices and provide effective and efficient responses; and (3) supporting an innovative and integrated approach as well as social and legislative actions.