This Saturday the FES and our partners at Birzeit University began a leadership seminar designed for Palestinian women. Twenty women were selected from an applicant pool of over one hundred to take part in a comprehensive seminar series in which they shall develop leadership skills to apply to their careers and build networks with other Palestinian women in positions of authority. The seminar series includes team management, public speaking and self assessment workshops during the coming weeks with events throughout the West Bank.
The opening day at Birzeit University began with introductions from FES and Birzeit officials, but the most impressive input came from the women themselves. Most participants are between the ages of 20 and 35 and joined the project with impressive educational backgrounds and professional experience. Several have completed advanced degrees including MAs and MBAs. Their collective professional experience reflects critical institutions and businesses in the region; engineers, teachers and political leaders. They applied to the seminar program in order to build leadership and management skills and enhance professional networks.
Workshops and seminars take place regularly in the region and are an important part of the FES work in promoting democracy and strengthening civil society. Palestinians are among the most educated people in the Middle East and Birzeit University contributes significantly to that proud fact. This FES-Birzeit project not only promotes continuing education for individuals, but also offers a collective benefit as a setting for leaders from different sectors and industries to connect.
As the seminar series continues I will visit the group again and hopefully learn more about the women, their goals and their progress.
Posted By Erin Wroblewski
Posted Aug 7th, 2007