WANA project envisages empowerment of vulnerable women, people with disabilities

The West Asia and North Africa Institute (WANA) in partnership with IM Swedish Partner published four policy papers that aim to raise the voices of vulnerable women and people with disabilities to be heard by policy makers in Jordan. 
Through a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project, the WANA Institute equips young people across the different governorates with the necessary skills to develop analytical reports and practical solutions for pressing issues that contribute to the social and economic exclusion of young vulnerable women and persons with disabilities, said a WANA statement.
While the project activities focus on capacity-building of individual youth, the outcomes and recommendations from the trainings are disseminated to a wide variety of local and international stakeholders at the institutional level.
The project aims to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice by empowering youth with the necessary skills for developing evidence-based analytical reports on pressing issues that they pronounced as hindering the participation and inclusion of young marginalised women and persons with disabilities.
The policy papers prepared by the 19 trainees revolve around issues such as: The status of early interventions targeting persons with disabilities in Zarqa; transportation in Madaba and its impact on the economic participation of women; the hindrance of persons with disabilities’ inclusion as a result accessibility constraints in Zarqa; and the effect of online learning on persons with disabilities during COVID-19.
“The training I received widened my horizons, it expanded my thinking from a confined space to a wide one and a comprehensive view of the topic of rights. It made me read many documents that strengthened my knowledge and understanding of human rights.  I began to deepen and develop my thinking,” the statement quoted one of the 19 participants, Razan Abdullah, as saying.
Rima Hassan, who is a person with a visual disability, said: “I was very far from policy issues before attending this programme and I used to think that change is in the hands of certain people who occupy high positions. After the training, my perception changed; change is in the hands of anyone from the youngest citizen to the eldest. I also learned that changing policy is simpler than I thought, you just need to work hard and have patience.”
The programme director at the WANA Institute stressed that the five-year project Towards Inclusive Participation of Vulnerable Women and People with Disabilities in Social and Economic Life aims to contribute to an increase in effective and sustained social and economic inclusion of vulnerable young women and persons with disabilities in Jordan, through equipping young people with the necessary skills for developing evidence-based analytical reports and assisting the youth in accessing platforms to engage with decision makers, government, donor agencies and programmatic organisations.
Jordan Times
4 January 2021