Men's Forum - Women's Access to justice project
Justice without Frontiers organized a three days workshop for the preparation of "Men's Forum” for the support and advocacy for women's access to justice project, from 26th till 28th of February 2013 at the Padova Hotel - Sin Fil.
The workshop gathered a number of religious leaders, ecclesiastical lawyer, representatives from some political parties, journalists and civil society activists whom they assured since the beginning of the training on the importance of bringing out a plan of action outside the framework of WAJ project’s plan. Thus; this plan must be applicable and feasible for implementation from the position of each individual of the participants; in order to support women and advocate for access to justice specifically in personal status laws.
Ms. Myriam Haddad, Project Officer for WAJ project presented a definition about JWF and its work on spreading the culture of human rights and providing legal support for women and children in particular what is related to personal status laws in “Women access to justice"; expressing that: “WAJ project aims to support vulnerable women, who are victims of exploitation or women in need of legal assistance in the Ecclesiastic Courts”, as she noted.
Mr. Riad Issa, the Trainer began the first day of the training by explaining the communication skills and acceptance of the other, where he was paving to focus on the importance of promoting the concept of citizenship between rights and duties and the role of women between citizenship and civil society. Besides, Mr. Issa elaborated the model of justice and team work in an advocacy plan specifically in the issue of equality between women and men in the personal status laws.
Mr. Issa initiated day two by linking the Convention of CEDAW with the points that spot on women's rights in personal status laws in Lebanon. The second day focused on explaining the concept of advocacy campaigns and advocacy as part of work in groups the main obstacles we might face. Mr. Issa also stressed on how to bring “strategic planning” in order to create targeted changes with authority members.
 It is worth mentioning, that the work was characterized by collective interaction among participants who had reached for the conclusion of the second day by brainstorming a number of proposals and initiatives that were gathered to be unified in objective targets in their action plan.
The third day of the preparatory workshop for "Men’s forum to support women in order to access to justice," allowed the participants to collect the most important ideas and suggestions that can be prepared and implemented within the future action plan. Everyone presented several initiatives and opportunities that can be used to move towards spreading awareness about the law and provide support for women to access to justice.
Moreover, the participants were motivated to expand the Forum and invite new members to join in supporting this process and hinted whether there’s a possibility to involve the feminine element in the program after some time. Thus; the “men’s forum” diverts to become "a forum for supporting women to access to justice," which includes both men and women.
The participants developed a practical program and agreed to unite efforts in meaningful activities. They managed to renew their second meeting in the middle of May 2013 to launch their agenda.