About Hurra Coalition
The Hurra Coalition is a diverse, intersectional group of active women’s rights organizations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that work on reforming family laws nationally in compliance with international human rights standards. Equality Now has been progressively building this MENA coalition since April 2019. Following a regional convening in Qatar, the Hurra Coalition was launched in September 2023.
Hurra means “Free (woman)”. As the name denotes, the coalition aims to free women and girls from all discriminatory family laws, it is designed to support and develop a robust, diverse, and inclusive women’s rights movement. Women’s rights organizations (WROs) interested in joining forces to advocate for reform in family law in their respective countries in the region are identified. More specifically, the Hurra Coalition will empower members to develop and implement campaigns to reform family law in these key thematic areas: child marriage, child custody and guardianship, and distribution of marital wealth.
Thematic Focus Areas
- Child marriage
- Custody and guardianship by divorced mothers
- Financial rights of the wives
The seeds of the coalition were sown in 2019 when international NGO Equality Now organized a convening in Lebanon, bringing together a diverse group of women’s rights organizations interested in joining forces to lobby for change in their respective countries in the MENA.
Since then, the coalition has grown, with the support of our partner Gucci (CHIME FOR CHANGE) into a dynamic group fostering a robust, diverse, inclusive, and collaborative women’s rights movement. Equality Now has been voted in as the Secretariat of the coalition. It has supported and reinforced members’ capacities in various aspects, including campaign strategy, legal and media advocacy, engagement with policy and decision-makers, and the development of active participation amongst young activists from marginalized communities.
The coalition currently consists of 16 national WROs from 9 Arab states:
- 🇪🇬 Association for Egyptian Female Lawyers, represented by Rabha Fathy
- 🇯🇴 Arab Women Organization, represented by Manal Al Taleb
- 🇩🇿 CIDDEF, represented by Nadia Ait Zai
- Equality Now, represented by Dima Dabbous
- 🇹🇳 Kadirat, represented by Samia Fessi
- 🇮🇶 (Kurdistan) – Asuda, represented by Khanim Latif
- 🇱🇧 LECORVAW, represented by Ghenwa Chinder
- 🇲🇦 Mains libres, represented by Laila Amili
- 🇵🇸 Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC), represented by Randa Siniora
- 🇵🇸 Women’s Studies Centre (WSC), represented by Sama Aweidah
- 🇪🇬 Egypt – YWCA, represented by Soheir Kamel
- 🇪🇬 Egypt- Egyptian Foundation for Family Development, represented by Hala Abd El Kader
- 🇱🇧 Lebanon – BESME, represented by Gulshan Saglam
- 🇵🇸 Palestine- YWCA, represented by Amal Tarazi
- 🇸🇩 Sudan Mutawinat, represented by Samia El Hashmi
- Arab Institute for Human Rights, represented by Joumana Merhi
Hurra Coalition objectives:
- Make equality in family law, its policies and practices a regional and national priority in compliance with international human rights standards.
- Encourage and support partner women’s rights organizations to campaign for family law reform.
- Build the capacities of the national WROs/CSOs that are members of the coalition.
- Consolidate regional solidarity among Hurra Coalition members to share commonalities, challenges, and best practices as well as provide ongoing support to each other in their family law reform campaigns.
- Ensure the engagement and inclusion of young activists/young women in national campaigns and build their capacities in the field of legal and media advocacy.
- Create and build synergies with other regional networks that share similar values and goals with the Hurra Coalition, all within the framework of the goals and in conformity with the Global Campaign for Family Law Reform mandate.
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One of the main priorities of the Hurra Coalition is to empower youth to advocate women’s rights in the MENA, amplify their voices, and refine their skills.
Our media advocacy workshops empower participants to use cameras to shed light on influential women’s issues like child marriage, harassment, and sexual violence. We unlock the power of storytelling through mobile photography!
Together, we work to raise awareness, spark conversations, and drive change.
- The organization must fully comply with international human rights standards.
- The organization should be an independent, non-governmental and non-partisan organization.
- The organization implements a feminist and human rights approach to counter all forms of gender stereotypes.
- Demonstrated experience in the field of gender equality and women’s rights, specifically in issues related to family/personal status laws reform, and that it has been working during the past three years (campaigns, events, individual activities/conferences, studies, etc.).
- Proof of legal registration of the organization.
- The size and capacity of the organization to implement national campaigns.
- Commitment to regularly attend Hurra Coalition meetings, including annual, quarterly, and one-on-one meetings (online or face-to-face), to share developments, best practices, challenges, solutions, etc.
- Adhere to all the principles and objectives of the coalition when representing the coalition by any member or speaking on behalf of the coalition in public activities (including the media).
- The logo of the coalition must be used in documents, funding requests, resources, websites, advertisements and promotions for any of the activities, whether online or offline, provided that the content or subject matter aims to support equality in personal/family laws in line with international human rights standards. It is forbidden to use the coalition’s logo for any other purposes and/or for any political goal and/or a goal that would contradict international human rights standards and/or violate national laws.
- Refrain from doing any act or saying that would negatively affect the coalition’s reputation, integrity, or cohesion.
- All representatives of member organizations must treat other members on the basis of fairness, respect, and dignity.
- The organization must be an active member of a functioning national network for women’s rights, and ideally, at least one of its goals should be related to family law (such as child marriage, child custody by divorced mothers, etc.). Existing members who are not yet members of such national networks are urged to join the relevant networks within a year of signing the criteria for membership in the Hurra Coalition.
- The member organization shall have an internal SEAH policy. If this policy does not exist among the current members, this policy must be developed and approved by the Board of Directors of the organization within one year of joining the coalition.
Membership shall be forfeited in the event of non-compliance with the aforementioned criteria, in particular:
- Failure to attend two consecutive or separate regional meetings during the same calendar year.
- Failure to participate in an activity and/or implement activities or campaigns at the national and/or regional level related to family/personal status laws reform within one year.
- Not belonging /joining a national network working in the field of women’s rights, preferably in the field of family/personal status laws reform (child marriage, custody, guardianship, nationality, etc.).
- Unacceptable behaviour that diminishes the respect, esteem, or dignity of any other member of the coalition or negatively affects the reputation of the coalition as a whole.
- Using the logo and name of the coalition for political goals and/or in contravention of international human rights standards and/or what contravenes national laws.
Voluntary Termination of Membership:
A written letter shall be sent to all members expressing the organization’s desire to leave the coalition, with reasons given.