Monday, 22/7/2019 eight Members of the Executive Committee of Ra'edat from Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan and two representatives from the Scottish National Party met in Beirut to begin development of a new policy paper on the issue of violence against women in politics. This research and paper will be the first of its kind in the Arab world. The discussion today explored the definition of violence, heard about research on other regions by the IPU, and explored what could be learned from international conventions. The workshop heard examples from Iraq, Sudan and Egypt and discussed what existing strengths there are in the Arab world around combating violence against women, the existing weakness, and what opportunities lie ahead. There was great exchange of ideas today, and a strong foundation to explore possible legislative models for developing a new Arab policy.
In the second and final day of the Policy Paper Workshop, the Ra'edat Executive explored various existing international frameworks combating violence against women in politics and discussed how they can be adapted to the Arab world. Scottish former member of Westminster and Scottish Parliaments, Anne McLaughlin, discussed her experience of receiving threatening behavior whilst an elected Member and how she responds and her suggestions of how to fight this phenomenon. The Ra'edat members agreed on a structure for the policy paper, which will be the first of its kind in the Arab world. The paper will include an overview of the problem and some statistics from the countries represented in the Network, as well as a call to action, testimonials from victims of violence, some suggested solutions, models from other parts of the world, and Ra'edat's recommendations for all levels of society.