Within She Leads regional project, and in her capacity as an advocacy, communication and gender expert, Hayat Mirshad collaborated with Plan International Lebanon team on a consultancy basis to develop over a period of 7 months the capacities of 25 young girls from different countries in the MENA region on gender, advocacy, communication, and use of mass and digital media for social change, followed by a mentoring and coaching process to ensure that they are able to design a regional campaign on a cause they choose.

Mirshad developed a contextualized and comprehensive capacity development program and content and led an in-person advocacy training workshop in Egypt during which she introduced the trainees to the basics of advocacy, setting an advocacy plan including context analysis, developing advocacy and communication messages, goals, stakeholders’ analysis, effective communication skills, use of mass and digital media…

The offline training was continued through 4 online trainings on the following topics: Feminist Advocacy and movement building, in-depth discussion of feminist concepts and history, Advocacy research techniques, Digital campaigning and developing media plans, Digital rights, security and safety, Networking and cross border activism and fundraising and resource mobilization.

Based on the trainings, a plan for coaching sessions was developed to address the specific needs of the participants. Then, 10 online coaching sessions were conducted over a period of 5 months including working on detailed context and stakeholders’ analysis for each country separately, presentation and discussion of findings, setting common priorities, and developing an advocacy strategy. In addition, 3 coaching sessions were dedicated to working on developing the content, planning and deliverables of the advocacy campaign which was completely designed by the trainees.

This program empowered and supported these young women/girls in taking the lead in planning and implementing the “My Life, My Decision” campaign, which was launched for the occasion of the IWD 2023 on Plan International Platforms, and advocating for more awareness on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Arab-speaking region.