On March 8th of every year, the world pauses.
For a straight 24 hours, the world pauses to witness the commemoration of women & girls.
However, when the clock strikes 12.01 post-midnight, and the 24-hour intermission ends, what happens? Does the world go back to moving, despite women still lacking equal access to opportunities and rights? Does the world continue to move for the next 365 days, 5 hours, 59 minutes, and 16 seconds, until International Women’s Day allows for another pause?
Though, the Asfari Institute certainly did not pause.
On the 1st of March of 2022, the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship launched its International Women’s Rights Day (IWRD) Campaign. The campaign lasted for 31 days. Its aim was to transform the 24-hour temporary intermission into a long-lasting social reality. Its aim was to push forth Asfari’s vision of a future in which the recognition of women’s rights and contributions is an essential part of the world’s motion forward – not an interlude.
Having taken place on social media online, with its primary platform of communication being Instagram, the campaign mobilized the three following hashtags:
Further, the campaign debunked myths and stereotypes around gender norms. It equally exposed the multiple forms of gender discrimination that exist within social, economic, and professional realms, which further jeopardize women’s access to opportunities and rights.
Moreover, building on the preceding Regional Storytelling Campaign, the IWRD Campaign included stories of five women pioneers respectively in sports, arts & journalism, and STEM from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Morocco.
Not only did the campaign involve stories from across the MENA region, but it also utilized visuals, such as graphic drawings, and borrowed external resources to portray data, research-backed reports, and documentaries. Apace with the valuable insight shared, the campaign simultaneously equipped the audience with necessary resources to increase their awareness and advocacy on matters pertaining to gender justice and women’s rights. For example, it shed light on the Lebanese NGO Dawrati, whose goal is to end period poverty. Hence, the campaign unfolded all layers of gender inequality with a focus on the MENA region, and more particularly, on Lebanon.
The Campaign’s last three topics shed light on the importance of advocacy, solidarity, and the history of the feminist movement in Lebanon. It is therefore impossible for Asfari to transform the yearly 24-hour pause of March 8th into a life-long progression without your advocacy for women’s rights, your solidarity in the fight against gender-based violence, and your efforts at further advancing the Lebanese feminist movement.
About the author
Angela Saade is an intern at the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship. Angela is an undergraduate student at Sciences Po Paris (Menton, France). She majors in politics and government, with a regional specialization, focused on the Middle East and the Mediterranean. She has contributed to multiple projects with Asfari Institute and looks forward to continuing her professional life in research and writing.