By Molly Lower
On June 19th and 20th WVN is co-hosting a symposium titled “Journées de la Femme Muslim: Traitement des defis dans le cadre d'amelioration des conditions des femmes maorcaines,” with International Studies Abroad (ISA) and ELAP “Experience with Purpose,” in Meknes, Morocco. Panel discussions, presentations, and film screenings will explore the status of women in Morocco; measures to reduce domestic violence against women; Morocco’s family code and its affect on mothers and their rights in marriage, divorce and custody of children; and a screening of WVN Film Festival’s “You Can Dream: Moroccan Women Who Do.”
This two-day event is being held at the Mennouni Cultural Center located in the new city of Meknes. It will be kicked off with an exhibition of women’s embroidery, clothing, and other artistic creations, and a artists and vocal showcase of students from the Moulay Ismail University.
While WVN staff will only be here for a few days, our partnership with ISA and ELAP means that our local summer interns will continue to spread the word of WVN in Morocco at the various women’s rights agencies at which they are volunteering for the summer, and sharing their work with us.
Please take a moment to meet our on-site interns: Arielle Moss, Liz Vaughn and Evon Babcock. (Photos and bios provided below!)
Arielle is a student at Indiana University double majoring in Biology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a minor in Chemistry. Her interests in global health and the status of women within Islamic society have brought her to Morocco, where she is currently working at a medical clinic and helping with the Women’s Voices Now Global Tour. Arielle is honored and thrilled to join WVN in creating a platform that elevates and empowers women while still respecting and embracing the vibrant cultures of Islam and the Middle East.
Evon Evelyn Babcock graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in May 2013 with a degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. She is currently in Meknes, Morocco interning with the Association Initiatives pour la Promotion des Droits des Femmes (Meknes group) until August 2013. The association strives to promote gender equality and full citizenship of women through the development of public policies and laws in regards to women’s human rights. She is also engaging in promoting Women’s Voices Now during our global tour in Morocco. Evon’s ethnic and religious background in being Coptic Orthodox has inspired her to eventually work in Egypt to promote inter-faith platforms as well as gender and religious equality within the country and MENA region as a whole.
I am Lizzy Vaughn, a Northern California native, and I was recruited and brought out to the College of Charleston in South Carolina to play division one softball. My career as a D1 athlete made studying and interning abroad a challenging experience but I landed on the perfect organization for my interests, here in Morocco, with ISA and ELAP this summer. I am a rising senior at CofC and am double majored in International Studies with an Asia concentration (namely the Middle East and North Africa) and Women’s and Gender Studies. My decision to take Hindi my freshman year for my general education requirement led me down the path that brought me to my Asia concentration, a year of Arabic following my 2 years of Hindi, and my love and appreciation for Middle Eastern culture, language, and life. My major also paved the way for my interest in human rights and declaring a second major in Women’s and Gender Studies which I have developed a great passion for. I am so excited at the opportunity to contribute in any way I can to Women’s Voices Now and would love to continue those contributions throughout my time here as well as when I return home. I truly love interacting with people as well as observing different cultures, which I enjoy expressing through both photography and writing.