16 March 2023

At the 23 rd meeting of its Board of Trustees: CAWTAR reviews its achievements in 2022 and receives praise from UN bodies and regional and international organizations

Under the chairmanship of HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal Al Saud, President of AGFUND and President of CAWTAR Board of Trustees, the 23rd meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR) was held on

March 16, 2023, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In his opening remarks, Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal paid tribute to the Center’s achievements, saying : “Thirty years have passed since the establishment of CAWTAR, envisioned by the late H.H. Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz to serve as an Arab platform for knowledge production and for the advancement of women’s conditions and rights. Having successfully discharged the mandate with which it is entrusted, CAWTAR has now become a benchmark institution in the Arab region, and a model to follow worldwide.” “CAWTAR”, he added, “has - more than ever before - succeeded in diversifying its initiatives, so that it now serves as a reference in terms of Arab women’s economic, social and political empowerment. It has also succeeded in expanding the reach of its activities, with support from its partners and @NGED members.” He took this opportunity to express thanks to Tunisia for hosting the Center and supporting its work.

Dr. Amal Belhaj Moussa, Tunisian Minister of Women, Family and the Elderly, indicated that the Center “has always contributed to the advancement of women’s rights in Arab societies.” She commended the Center’s expanding reach and impact, serving now as “a regional and global mechanism for the advancement of women and youth.”

Amb. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector at the League of Arab States, indicated that CAWTAR “is now serving as a key platform at all levels...”. She recalled that the Center is “the first to have worked on the issue of women and the media in the Arab region, and that AGFUND has succeeded in ensuring the sustainability of the Center’s outstanding performance.”

Dr. Soukeina Bouraoui, Executive Director of CAWTAR, reviewed the Center’s key achievements in 2022, especially in promoting women’s economic, financial, social and political empowerment, and enhancing their role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The Center’s efforts and achievements were highly commended by the Board members and by strategic partners.

Mrs. Janneke van der Graaff–Kukler, Deputy Regional Director of UN-Women Regional Office for the Arab States, stated that “women in the Arab region are facing many challenges, and we should be able to properly analyze these challenges so that we can tackle them through joint action, with focus on priority issues such as combating violence against women, enhancing women’s role in promoting security and peace, and increasing women’s participation in the green economy...”. She indicated that work will be pursued with CAWTAR to help create a supportive and enabling environment for women.

Dr. Hala Youssef, Regional Sexual and Reproductive Health Adviser for UNFPA Arab States Office, stated that the efforts deployed by CAWTAR, jointly with its partners, call for further action to support civil society institutions to be more involved in the review of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. She indicated that UNFPA stands ready to cooperate with CAWTAR in this regard.

Mrs. Nahid Hussein, UNDP Resident Representative for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressed the “UNDP’s commitment to providing technical and financial support to the Center so that it can contribute to the advancement of women in the Arab region, especially women in conflict areas”.

Dr. Fadoua Bakhadda, IPPF Arab World Regional Director, indicated that “IPPF will work with CAWTAR on a new project for establishing a media health system for Libyan refugees in Tunisia and North Africa.”

Mrs. Rafif Alam, Gender Specialist at the Islamic Development Bank, stated that “thanks to AGFUND, it was possible to explore with CAWTAR the ways of enhancing joint action in priority areas related to the advancement of women.” She reiterated the IsDB’s commitment to continue partnership with CAWTAR.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal and Dr. Soukeina Bouraoui signed a partnership agreement to support the institutional development of CAWTAR in 2023.

Certificates of completion of training on financial education were awarded to 17 trainers from Saudi Arabia, conducted in partnership between AGFUND, the Societal Development Committee at Riyadh Governorate (Emara), the Arab Open University, and CAWTAR.

The representatives of UN-Women, UNFPA, Tunisian Government, AGFUND, IFFP, League of Arab States, BADEA, SFD, IsDB, GIZ, and OECD reaffirmed, on this meeting, their support for CAWTAR’s action toward further advancing the conditions of women in the Arab region and beyond.



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