Amman. Jordan – The Arab Women’s Leadership Institute (AWLI) held its semi-annual advisory council meeting on November 12, 2010, electing two new members and re-electing four members to two-year terms. The meeting coincided with the official opening of the AWLI headquarters.
Ms. Myriam Kairouz Aucar from Lebanon and Mrs. Wafa Al Jasem from Kuwait were elected to their first term on the AWLI council. Ms. Aucar is a practicing lawyer and active member of the Women’s Democracy Network’s Advisory Council. She has been involved in initiatives to promote political, judicial, social and economic reforms in Lebanon and has managed electoral campaigns for independent, reformist candidates to the Lebanese Parliament. Mrs. Al Jasem serves as the Director of Training and Development at the Kuwait Stock Exchange and has been involved in developing training programs related to women’s empowerment. She also serves as a Board Member for the Kuwait Women’s Cultural Society, having chaired the Public Relations Committee from 2007 – 2008.
The AWLI council also re-elected Dr. Eman Al-Hussein (Jordan), Dr. Wajeeha Al Baharna (Bahrain), Dr. Sundus Abbass (Iraq) and Tami Longaberger (USA) to a second term. All terms begin January 2011.
During the official opening of the AWLI office, Ms. Tami Longaberger, AWLI Chairwoman remarked that, “AWLI has been working diligently in the Middle East for two years to bring Arab women leaders together to share experiences and learn from one another. Opening an office here in Jordan puts us on the map – literally – and I’m excited about how much more we can do now in the future.”
The Arab Women’s Leadership Institute is a program operated under the International Republican Institute, a nongovernment organization in Jordan. AWLI has received funding for its efforts from the National Endowment for Democracy since 2008, and has been holding trainings with Arab women from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. Its mission is to strengthen the democratic development of women in the Arab region by providing the skills, resources and connections necessary to succeed as elected or appointed officials, within civil society and as community leaders. AWLI believes that the path toward a democratic Arab world is only possible with the political and social participation of women.