Arab Human Development Report 2002, launched by the United Nations Development
Programme Regional - Bureau for Arab States
(UNDP/RBAS), identified 'women empowerment' as one of the three main 'deficits'
in the Arab region. To address this deficit, the Gender and Citizenship Initiative
(GCI) in the Arab region was launched in December 2001 by UNDP/RBAS through its
Programme on Governance in the Arab Region (UNDP-POGAR).
The Initiative's initial phase (December 2001 to September 2002) consisted primarily
of identifying strategic entry points to the issue of women's citizenship in the
region, through a number of activities.
The Gender and Citizenship Initiative (GCI) has launched its second phase in 2006.
The main objectives of the Initiative are:
- to support research-informed policy debate and dialogue on women's citizenship in
selected countries in the Arab region,
- to raise public and media awareness about the scale and implications of gender inequalities
inherent in key legislation,
- to build the capacity of Arab women's NGOs in networking and advocacy to lobby for
policy changes, and
- to build partnerships between women's NGOs and parliamentarians
- launch regional and country based policy dialogues with key decision makers and
- identify and address country-based challenges which may obstruct legal reforms
- raise public awareness on nationality as a case in point for engendering citizenship
in the Arab world
- launch country specific legal reform initiatives related to Arab nationality Laws