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Empowering women "high" on government's agenda, says minister
Amman, March. 25 (Petra) -- Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, on Saturday, took part in the 8th graduation ceremony of the International Women's Forum-Jordan's (IWF) Leadership Enhancement and Mentoring Programme (LEMP).

LEMP-8 is an IWF Chapter initiative supported by Global Affairs Canada that took place in Amman between October 2016 and March 2017.

During the ceremony, Fakhoury delivered a speech, in which he said LEMP-8, supported by Global Affairs Canada, must have contributed to building the capacities of 30 capable public official women and improved their leadership and administrative skills, to enable them to assume higher positions within their institutions.

The planning minister thanked the Canadian government for supporting the programme and for its continuous support to Jordan's development priorities and resilience as well as vital sectors.

"We are pleased with the excellent partnership developed between the Government of Jordan, IWF Jordan and the Canadian side towards building the capacities of our female public officials under this program," Fakhoury said, adding: "and here I would like to acknowledge the efforts and the role that IWF has been playing in providing training and mentoring programs and in advancing opportunities for women in leadership while also creating a profound, positive and sustainable change in the lives of women leaders today and tomorrow." In the present, the subject of encouraging women's economic and political empowerment, in addition to gender equality and mainstreaming are high on the Jordanian government's agenda, the minister said, adding that the government with the support of its key international and local partners is also serious about developing programmes and initiatives geared towards further promoting women empowerment in the economic, social and political and public life.

Women's leadership ought to be encouraged in the public sector on the basis of merit, professionalism and expertise, Fakhoury said, adding that LEMP-8 affects both the public sector's reform efforts and women empowerment, both of which he said are critical pillars for the transformation agenda as stipulated in the Jordan 2025 Vision, the government action plan and the Executive Development Programme 2016-2019.

"Yet, more efforts are, therefore, needed to further enhance the status of women in our societies, and to allow for their active and full participation. We need to ensure: expanding access to quality education and training, promoting the development of women-owned businesses, increasing women's financial literacy and asset development and addressing comprehensive women's health care, among others," the planning minister said.

Thus, "the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation continues to support many programmes aimed at empowering and encouraging women to identify themselves as active participants in the public life and in being agents for growth, development and innovation," Fakhoury said, adding that his ministry continues to lead by example whereby about 50 per cent of the ministry's staff are women and about 41.7 per cent of the senior management in the ministry are women.

He added that the ministry provides the staff with training opportunities to advance their leadership, managerial and technical skills with full equal access.

IWF is a global network of highly successful professional women spanning the five continents. During the past 6 months, IWF, in partnership with Global Affairs Canada has trained 30 mid-career women from 3 ministries: Municipal Affairs, Public Works and Housing, and Water and Irrigation. Participants included women from Amman and the governorates.

The workshops were carried out at the Ministry of Public Works by highly successful professional Jordanian women.

"Canada is committed to ensuring that women and girls are included and empowered in all aspects of our support to Jordan," Canadian Ambassador to Jordan Peter MacDougall said.

"When women and girls are provided with the resources to achieve their full potential, they can be powerful agents of change, development and peace," the ambassador added.

LEMP has been carried out by IWF Jordan over the past 9 years.

More than 160 women have been trained in the fields of IT, Judiciary, Nursing, Education and others. "Our Leadership program aims to empower women in their mid-career to enable them to break the glass ceiling in their respective jobs," Luma Kawar, IWF president, Jordan Chapter, said.

We are particularly pleased to be supporting the train-the-trainers component, which we believe will help ensure the sustainability of this important program," Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Canada Karen Mollica said.

"Throughout my career that spans over 25 years nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing the success of LEMP graduates," said Nabila Morcos, LEMP Chair, adding, "when I train on LEMP I share my knowledge but most important I increase my knowledge and am always in awe of the resilience and power that the young Jordanian women express." "Even though I have 15 years of Management and Leadership experience, I felt that this IWF training program introduced Leadership in a much more scientific and precise way. I have never attended any other program as tangible and beneficial in leadership skills as this one," said LEMP trainee Lama Majali, Ministry of Municipal Affairs– Al Karak.

"I gained a real knowledge in leadership skills that enabled me to communicate better with my co-workers and senior management. My main challenge is that I felt that my male coworkers sometimes felt threatened with my newly acquired knowledge. But we resolved the issue in a meeting where I used the communication techniques that were taught to us in this LEMP Program," said LEMP trainee Lulu Masalha, Ministry of Water and Irrigation– Amman.

"After this training program, I gained a lot of confidence in my skills enhanced by the real life case studies used. The change in my personal and my professional lives was transformational. I feel my leadership skills have quadrupled," said LEMP trainee Rawan Al Mubarak, Ministry of Public Works and Housing – Al Salt.

25/3/2017 - 06:29:03 PM

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