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For Immediate Release
August 26, 2004

Global Message

From U.S. State Department Fact Sheet 8/23/04

In 2002, President Bush launched the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), which sees improved status of women as one of four pillars of reform in the region. Of the $129 million the U.S. has committed to MEPI, $9 million supports programs to benefit women directly, and women benefit significantly from programs under the other four pillars. Working with regional governments and NGOs, the U.S. has funded fully or partially:

Schools to provide leadership and organizational training for women seeking elective office, and training for activists to develop strategies for obtaining political rights for women.

The first annual Arab Women's Forum in Cairo, aimed at overcoming obstacles faced by women.

Exchange programs and internships in the U.S. for hundreds of professional women.

A comprehensive survey on freedom for women in the region, to be published in December 2005.

A regional workshop on women and law, establishment of a regional association for women in the legal profession, and a public education campaign on women's rights and equality.

Training for women entrepreneurs and small business owners, and 34,000 micro-credit loans worth more than $13 million to Palestinian women entrepreneurs since 1996.

Literacy training for 20,000 women in the south of Morocco and a public education program on Morocco's new family law.

Professional training for Jordanian, Palestinian, and Saudi journalists.

Postpartum care to mothers and infants in Tunisia, Jordan, and the West Bank; and prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care to women in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, and Morocco.

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