JEDDAH, 4th November, 2015 (WAM) — An Intergovernmental Experts Group meeting is currently being held at the OIC’s General Secretariat in Jeddah to assess the implementation of the “OIC Action Plan for the Advancement of Women”, OPAAW.

Nora Al-Hajri, Head of the Productive Families Department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Qatar, and who is chairing the meeting, said that women in OIC Member States are facing many challenges, saying that the first assessment meeting aims to consider the feasibility of the OPAAW, particularly its implementation.

Dr. Abdulaziz Alsebail, Director-General of the OIC Cabinet and Chief Adviser to the OIC Secretary-General, delivered a speech on behalf of OIC Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani.

In his speech, Madani reiterated that six years since the plan was adopted and following five ministerial conferences on women, new steps are necessary. This, he said, includes a study identifying the added value that the plan would bring to the OIC’s work in relation to the advancement of women.

Madani also called for assessing the contributions of stakeholders which include the OIC’s member states, subsidiary, specialised and affiliated organisations, and civil society organisations.

The Secretary-General also underlined the importance of ratifying the Statute of the Women Development Organisation, a specialised OIC organisation based in Cairo, Egypt.

The agenda of the Intergovernmental Experts Group meeting for assessing the OPAAW includes a presentation on the State of Gender and Family Well-Being in OIC Member Countries, the outline of the revised OPAAW plan, results of an assessment of ministerial meetings on women, and its role in the advancement of women in member states.