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Young Women Leaders

The Young Women Leaders (YWL) program at the Lebanese American University (LAU) aims to build the leadership skills of women rights activists from the Gulf States in 2009 and 2010. Participants’ travel, accommodation, and program fees are fully funded. The program is sponsored in partnership with the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

This project is funded through the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). MEPI is a unique program designed to engage directly with and invest in the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). MEPI works to create vibrant partnerships with citizens to foster the development of pluralistic, participatory, and prosperous societies throughout the MENA region. MEPI partners with local, regional and international non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academic institutions, and governments. More information about MEPI can be found at: www.mepi.state.gov

The program has various components: the first is a women leadership capacity building sessions offered during the summer of 2009 at the Lebanese American University (LAU) and delivered by its various institutes. The 2009 summer module at LAU offered participants skills in women rights advocacy and leadership roles. Upon their graduation, participants received Women Rights Leadership Certificates.

The second component of the program consists of participants planning and implementing small advocacy projects with other YWL from their own country. The small projects aim was to raise awareness about key women issues and to promote women rights in the community. The projects’ implementations were mentored by LAU faculty and in-country partner organizations. A Road Tour Showcase of the projects will be touring the Gulf countries where the Young Women Leaders present their projects to general audience.

A three-day Gulf leadership conference concludes the program where best leadership practices are shared. The Conference will launch a Women Leadership Network (WLN) that includes YWL graduates who in turn will become mentors for future YWL program participants.

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