Networking for Change

Source of news: NEWW-Polska
2006-05-08 14:44:04 / News read 2808 reading
The project of the Network of East-West Women (NEWW/NEWW-Polska) aims at enabling former participants of NEWW Legal Fellowship Programme to develop new areas of activities that would be beneficial for women in CEE/NIS region and at building the regional (CEE/NIS) network of young women’s lawyers which would improve their cooperation and give more possibilities for common action.

The conference was donated by Stefan Batory Fundation

Launched in 1997, NEWW Legal Fellowship Program has supported 26 fellows from 13 countries throughout CEE/NIS (to see the profiles of the Fellows, please visit NEWW’s website: The goal of the NEWW Legal Fellowship Program was to build the capacity of young women lawyers at the beginning of their careers, and women’s organizations throughout CEE/FSU, to advocate more effectively for women’s human rights. Fellows participated in a 3-week training practicum in Washington DC, completed a four-month internship at a U.S.-based human rights organization, participated in a law school course on International Women’s Human Rights, and completed a twelve month women’s advocacy follow-on project in their home country. Through the Fellowship Program, participants developed expertise required to litigate women’s rights cases, cultivate networks with seasoned, professional women’s rights attorneys, and design projects and collaborative initiatives in the field of women’s human rights. Generally, NEWW Fellows have worked on issues such as domestic violence, trafficking of women, labor discrimination, and strengthening women's political participation in CEE/NIS.

At the moment NEWW does not offer scholarships to the new Fellows but wants to use the potential of its former fellows for the work on women’s rights in their respective countries and to cooperate internationally. At the moment several of the former Fellows are involved in the project of Women’s Human Rights Training Institute. Many work pro bono on projects helping women and supporting women’s human rights. NEWW Legal Fellows become part of a large network of members and women’s rights activists throughout CEE, the NIS, Russia, the US and Western Europe.

NEWW wants to continue the Legal Program by offering its former fellows a possibility to develop a strategy for new common action and strengthen their regional network. The first step of the project is convening of a workshop for the former NEWW Fellows. The workshop will take place in November 2005 in Poland.

The meeting will aim at bringing together NEWW’s twenty four Legal Fellows and Economic Policy Fellows from several countries in the CEE/FSU region in order to strengthen partnership and cooperation in women’s empowerment in the context of CEE/FSU women’s rights advocacy as well as globally. The meeting will also be attended by some members of the International Steering Committee of NEWW.

The meetings of the Fellows will play a very important role in strategizing and planning future actions. For example the outcome of the last Legal Fellowship Alumnae workshop held two years ago was a project on Women’s Human Rights Training Institute which is funded by Open Society Institute and implemented in partnership with Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and Center for Reproductive Rights. This time the workshop will aim at finding best ways to support women in the countries of CEE/FSU who constitute a group which is endangered by marginalization and social exclusion because of the effect of transition and globalization. At the Meeting the Fellows will discuss the progress achieved in their work devoted to promotion of women’s rights as well as they will evaluate their follow-on projects that are part of the Fellowship Programs. During two days, they will share information and experience (positive and negative) about their work.

The Fellows will attempt to find legal measures to improve the situation of women, compare legislation in their countries and look for lobbying and advocacy possibilities. The Legal Fellows’ Alumnae Workshop will give all former Program participants an opportunity to catch up on each other’s work and share strategies, information and experience. This meeting facilitates joint projects while opening a door to continued regional networking.

Meeting would take place in Sopot, Poland, in "Bursztyn" Hotel, Emilii Plater Street 12/19

Final Agenda:
The conference language: English

May 11, 2006 (Thursday) Participants arrival
17:00 - 20:00 International Steering Committee Meeting (Bursztyn Café)
20:00 - 21:30 Dinner and welcome

May 12, 2006 (Friday)

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
(All the plenary sessions would take place in Zatoka Guest House conference room, that is 3 min. walk from Hotel Bursztyn – see the map below agenda)
9:00 – 9:15 Welcome Erin Barclay, Malgorzata Tarasiewicz
9:15 – 9:45 Presentation of the agenda of the meeting and its objectives Malgorzata Tarasiewicz
9:45 – 10:30 Presentation of situation of women in the region reflecting the recent developments e.g. the influence of EU enlargement. Identification of problems that are most persistent for women.Chair: Lenka Simerska15 min. presentations by: Maria Lukic, Sylwia Spurek, Saule Vidrinskaite
10:30 - 11:00 Discussion
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 12:00 Presentation by the participants of the women’s situation in their country with a special focus on the re-traditionalization of women. What are the predominant trends pushing women's issues in their countries? What the participants can do to improve the situation?
Chair: Susanna Vardanyan15 min. presentations by:Elene Rusetskaia, Raisa Simelnikova, Melina Skourolaikou12:00 - 12:30 Discussion
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch (Bursztyn Café)
13:45 – 14:30 Presentation continued (Zatoka Guest House)
Chair: Mirjana Dokmanovic15 min. presentations by: Fedkovic Halyna, Nazira Kasimova, Irmina Kotiuk & Malgorzata Pomaranska-Bielecka
14:30 - 15:00 Discussion
15:00 – 15:15 Coffee break
15:15 – 16:30 Discussion on strategy, on what future actions should be taken or projects started based on the discussion on the situation in CEE/FSU. Entry points for women's issues in the EU structures.
Dina Loghin, Elena Mashkova
16:45 - 18:45 International Steering Committee Meeting (Bursztyn Café)Malgorzata Tarasiewicz
Meeting of the NEWW Focal Points Zofia Lapniewska
19:30 Dinner

May 13, 2006 (Saturday)
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 Presentation of NEWW activities (Zatoka Guest House)
Malgorzata Tarasiewicz
10:00 – 10:30 Presentation of Women’s Human Rights Training Institute
Milena Kadieva
10:30 – 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 – 13:00 Two Parallel Discussion Groups:
Group A: Discussion of the work of the Fellows, their follow-up projects. Role of women lawyers in the region. Differentiation - how has differentiation in the legal profession over the last ten years impacted the Fellows? How lawyers are organized - nationally, regionally, internationally. What organizational forms are the Fellows engaged in? How responsive are these forms to women's rights? Changes in legal education in the Fellows' countries - the impact of the Bologna process on legal education as well as the impact of other external pressures on legal education to change. What is the Fellows' role in all this reform?
Erin Barclay, Isabel Marcus
Group B: Discussion on the response of the women’s movement to the changing situation in the region. New initiatives and planning for the future e.g. the European Feminist Forum, role of networking, cooperation with women NGO’s from the EU and globally. Zofia Lapniewska
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (Bursztyn Café)
14:00 – 15:30 Discussion of future cooperation of the Fellows and NEWW members. What NEWW can offer? (Zatoka Guest House)
Anne Hillar, Kimberly D. Reed
15:30 – 16:00 Evaluation and closing of the meeting
16:15 – 19:30 International Steering Committee Meeting (Bursztyn Café) Malgorzta Tarasiewicz
20:00 Dinner

May 14, 2006 (Sunday)
Participants departure

The conference was donated by Stefan Batory Fundation
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