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Conference elections 2016: women @ the forefront

By Ambassade des Etats-Unis d'Amérique au Maroc
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On April 14th, 2016, women representing eight of the main political parties and coming from all corners of Morocco came together for the launch of the, “Elections 2016: Women @ the Forefront” Conference to share successful strategies for gaining elected office and discuss how women can advocate for greater leadership roles within their political parties.

This three-day conference, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and facilitated by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with additional support from the Embassies of Spain and France, aims to encourage women from different political affiliations and regions to exchange experiences while working together to develop internal advocacy strategies. In addition, the conference will also include a series of workshops on message development and delivery; building your resources; social media use and developing policy.

U.S. Ambassador to Morocco DwightL.Bush, Sr. provided inspiring opening remarks, which applauded the commitment of both the Government of Morocco and the conference participants towards designing a more inclusive political system. “Your presence confirms Morocco's commitment to making real progress on the gender equality related amendments to the 2011 constitution…Morocco is often cited as leading the way on gender equality in the region. This progress did not happen in a vacuum. It comes as a result of committed civil society activists and enlightened political leaders coming together as partners in reform. This partnership continues here, as you share ideas and priorities for the future.”

Currently, women only represent 17% of Moroccan parliament. The 2016 legislative elections provide opportunities for Moroccan women play an active role in politics more than ever before. Through internal advocacy efforts, party activists can motivate their leadership to make decisions that help boost women's ability to access to elected office.

About USAID:

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the American people have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. In Morocco, USAID provides assistance to Morocco through three sectors: Education, Economic Growth and Democracy and Governance. Since 1957, USAID has invested over 2 billion dollars on technical and humanitarian assistance to Morocco.