One certainty in the approach of AGFUND, is that it believes that a great deal of developmental slowdown and social failure that Arab societies are undergoing, are a consequence of the absence of women taking part in the active life. The deliberate exclusion of a woman barring her from her rights in contributing and participating in the process of development of her communities, hiders social evolution and economic growth.
On this matter AGFUND’S President, HRH Prince Talal ibn Abdul Aziz, expressed his views as follows:
"The Arab woman is not less than her Western equivalent in her capacity, potential or creativity. All what she needs is to be given the opportunity, the space, and the autonomy to attain and achieve her rights that are acknowledged by and match our religion, instead of restraining her with a group of untrustworthy habits and traditions."
Most of AGFUND’s projects target women in particular, and the family in general.Through its projects on economic development for women, AGFUND struggles primarily to adjust the misconception and prejudice that exists in the Arab societies. This is done by creating and providing through its projects, more new opportunities designed and adapted for women to encourage them take a step toward a greater participation in development.
The establishment of the Center for Arab Women Training and Research (CAWTAR), clearly reflects the status that the women hold in AGFUND's developmental strategy.
The Center for Arab Women for Training and Research – CAWTAR
In response to the growing need to demonstrate Arab women’s capacities to build their future and positively contribute to the development process of their nations, AGFUND managed in the year 1993 to attract outstanding international and regional partnerships to set up an independent Arab Regional organization. AGFUND created the Center for Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR), created to develop capacities of Arab women, encouraging them to participate in development of their societies and supporting their presence in decision-making centers.
CAWTAR’s Board of Trustees is presided over by HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz.
Members of the Board:
The Arab Gulf Programme For United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND)
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The Tunisian Government
The League of Arab States (LAS)
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
The World Bank
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
The United nations development Fund for Women (Observer) (UNIFEM)
This Center, based in Tunisia, works closely with governmental and non-governmental organizations to analyze and follow-up on changes and progress in gender roles. Based on its research, it predicts appropriate policies and launches programs and projects founded on a gender–sensitive approach. CAWTAR also coordinates efforts with national, regional and/or international NGO's operating in the fields of women empowerment in order to achieve common goals. CAWTAR makes lots of efforts to promote training, to instruct skills and to conduct researches on women's issues to facilitate solving their problems. CAWTAR emphasizes the potential of the Arab woman and highlights the importance of her contribution in the process of growth.
CAWTAR hinges basically on the principle of a "knowledge-based development". It seeks to generate a new outlook and perspective on the image of Arab women by attracting and raising awareness of policy makers on her existing condition in Arab societies. As part of its efforts to establish the merits of Arab Women, CAWTAR issued a number of development reports, such as:
- "Globalization and Gender: Economic Participation of Arab Women" (2001),
- "Arab Adolescent Girls: Reality and Prospects" (2003),
- and "Arab Women and Media" (2006).
CAWTAR also launched the Arab Network for Gender and Development (ANGAD).