Empowering Change: Participants insights from MSM’s Gender Equality and Women Empowerment programme


“The decision to apply for the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment course was driven by a combination of personal passion and professional aspiration. As a believer in the power of education to foster social change, I was eager to deepen my knowledge on gender issues and to develop practical skills that could help address these challenges in my country.” These were the words of Mr. Ibrahim Jamal Azeez (Iraq) on the last day of MSM’s short executive programme on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

Mr. Jamal Azeez, continued: “Additionally, the reputation of MSM, Maastricht University, as a leading institution in promoting progressive and inclusive education played a significant role in my decision. I was particularly interested in the course's comprehensive curriculum, which cover both theoretical frameworks and strategies for promoting gender equality.”

Ms. Rasha Marar (Jordan) decided to apply for the programme as it resonates with her passion on gender equality, particularly the empowerment of women: “When I applied to the position as the “Energy Gender Focal Point” in Jordan, I aimed at expanding my knowledge and enriching my skills in these spheres so that I could make a positive impact in my community and the working environment. Apparently, the motivation to embrace learning from professional trainers and thus meeting and interacting with other professional trainers from different countries was another factor. “

Throughout the week, participants worked on individual and group assignments based on various case studies. These assignments are an effective way of putting newly gained knowledge directly into practice and learning from professionals with different cultural and professional backgrounds. This teaching method was much appreciated by the participants. Mr. Jamal Azeez remarked, "Working on group assignments was particularly rewarding, as it allowed me to collaborate with a diverse group from various backgrounds. This diversity enriched our discussions and led to more comprehensive project outcomes. The collaborative nature of the group work also enhanced my teamwork and communication skills, which are essential in any professional environment."

Ms. Marar fully agreed with Mr. Jamal Azeez’s words: "I consider working on the group assignments an effective and enjoyable exercise. Working with people from all fields and backgrounds certainly opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and enabled me to come up with creative solutions to the challenges faced by participants during the activity. The individual assignment was also helpful in expanding my knowledge of specific topics more deeply connected with gender equality."

About the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment programme
Including a focus on women empowerment is instrumental to closing the gender gap. Women are obviously entitled to equal access to economic options, business and resources but in reality, there are many factors that obstruct or prevent such equal access. In order for gender equality to improve, women’s and men’s needs and opportunities need to be addressed not only at community level but also system-wide. That is why Dr. Mulu Burhane Hundera, developed the Short Executive Programme on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.  Through this programme, participants will get a better understanding on what gender equality and women empowerment mean and how these can be supported in daily life. Participants will also learn about tools and instruments to develop a gender policy. Furthermore, Dr. Burhane Hundera will address a number of relevant issues, ranging from strategy and policy towardsnd constraints at individual level and ways to overcome these.

Ms. Marar was very positive about the way Dr. Burhane Hundera delivered the content: “Dr. Burhane Hundera has been the best lead trainer that could have been assigned to this project. In each session, one can see Dr. Burhane Hundera'spassion and commitment to the topic of the presentation. Her teaching is found to be well organised, entertaining and easy to understand and her approach to the students is highly interactive and inclusive. Her valuable input has made my knowledge in gender equality enhanced in a great way.”

According to Mr. Jamal Azeez, Dr. Burhane Hundera’s leadership during the programme was excellent: “Her deep expertise in gender studies, coupled with her engaging teaching style, created enjoyable supportive learning environment. Dr. Hundera's ability to connect complex theoretical concepts with real-world applications was particularly effective. She encouraged us to critically analyse societal norms and provided us with the analytical tools needed to change these paradigms.”

About MSM’s Short Executive Programmes
Today’s rapidly changing societies and economies demand the most from organisations, leaders, managers and professionals. MSM’s Short Executive Programmes for emerging markets are developed to achieve a successful and sustainable transformation of both individuals and organisations to support local economic development and business management.

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