What happened at the Gender & Empowerment seminar?

Delegations of Doctors of the World (MdM) meet in Madrid to discuss and share experiences on Gender, Empowerment and Partnership.

Madrid, 7-9 March 2018.

In the framework of the Capacity Building project, part of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, 11 MdM delegations from Europe, Africa and Central America will organise a series of thematic technical seminars  in different European countries (Spain, Belgium, Holland, Great Britain and Sweden). The first seminar, organized by MdM Spain, took place in Madrid, 7-9 March, and focused on Gender, Empowerment and Partnership. It was not by chance that International Women’s Rights Day fell right in the middle!

Raúl Torres and Laure Salies opening the seminar.

In this 3-day seminar, concepts, ideas and best practices on gender and empowerment were shared. On the first day, Laure Salies, the Coordinator of the EU Aid Volunteers Consortium, soon after presenting the agenda and methodology of the Seminar, gave some insights on the roots of Gender and Empowerment theories which dated back to the origins of the femenist movement.

Soon after, there was a general discussion based on the conclusions of a survey on gender which was answered by the NGOs that joined the Capacity Building project and it led to some great discussions.  One of the highlights of the day was a workshop which aimed to find a common meaning of Gender followed by a presentation of different projects and best practices which took place in Spain, Greece, Ukraine and France (Coordination Sud).

Workshop on Gender

On the second day, March 8, the main focus was Empowerment: all the participants had the opportunity to share their opinions on what being empowered meant to them, and, similarly to the approach on gender taken the previous day, all the conclusions and results of previous surveys were discussed. The Director of the Network Empowerment Team (NET), Feli Ibáñez presented the road map of the international MdM network  and the MdM Desk Innovation officer, Miguel Pérez-Lozao,  presented the results of a study on Empowerment in domestic programs of the MdM European network. It was already late morning when an award-winning documentary on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was projected, briefly followed by some insights on Sexual Violence and Gender prevention and assistance the former MdM Mozambique Coordinator, Emanuele Lini, shared with us.

At midday, while women went on a 2-hour strike, men, with the help of Hugin & Munin, the communications consultancy, were in charge of designing the banners for the demonstration.  The banners were made with stencils of very strong feminist women from Nigeria (Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi), Ukraine (Anna Hutsol), Honduras (Gilda Rivera) and Nicaragua (Mª Teresa Blandón). Afterwards, all the people attending the seminar went to the International Women’s Day March in the center of Madrid.

The next day, 9 march, a round table was held with local partners in Burkina (Keoogo), Benin (Terres Rouges) and Morocco (MS.2) who shared their experiences and expectations of work in Partnership with MdM Belgium.




For more information, you can contact MdM at:



This project is co-funded by the European Union for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

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