“Men and women must learn to become equal”
Meet Dina Berrada, outstanding 2015 laureate of the programme « Femmes d’Avenir en Méditerranée»
Designed in collaboration with French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and French Ministry of Social Affairs and Women’s Rights, and labelled by Union of the Mediterranean, Femmes d’Avenir en Méditerranée constitutes an exceptional training program which supports and guides young Mediterranean women in their professional and personal achievements.
Providing a unique approach based on gender studies and leadership, FAM contributes to develop a solidarity and mutual support network among participants in order to contribute to the creation of a long-term culture of gender equality.
Dina Berrada participated in 2015, in Femmes d’Avenir en Méditerranée, as an exemplar film director from Morocco.
How did you become aware of the training programme?
I become familiar with the programme through the Association for Business Women, as I am a member, which published the call for applications.
Why did you decide to apply?
I decided to apply for two main reasons. First, the excellence of Sciences Po is acknowledged throughout the world, and particularly Sciences Po’s high-level trainings. It was a genuine opportunity to benefit from this excellence.
Second, I identified to the profiles the programme was recruiting. I rapidly felt concerned by the topic [equality between women and men] and the context in which the training will take place: being among 20 to 25 women gathered in the same city, sharing a common interest and concern: the question of equality between women and men. I was highly enthusiastic about meeting and exchange with other women, coming from different backgrounds and fields of activities; women with whom we would eventually debate about the realities we faced, and the struggles everyone of us waged in our own countries.
What was your professional situation before participating in FAM?
Before the training, I had studied cinema and communication at Concordia, in Canada. Once I successfully graduated, and after professional experiences in the audio-visual industry or the electronic press in Morocco, I felt the need to create my own business, to answer different needs, therefore strengthening the Moroccan cultural sector, and particularly the cinema industry.
When I was given the opportunity to participate in Femmes d’Avenir en Méditerranée, I was starting my career as a women entrepreneur, putting together my project. The training was the ideal opportunity to gain confidence, leadership and legitimacy. Meeting high profile women who had already managed to succeed, becoming role models, aligning with men, could only propel me forward and nourish my ambitions.
I have to admit I had always been offended by inequalities between men and women, particularly prevalent in my culture and country; I remember feeling powerless against this scourge, all the more so women themselves interiorised inequalities. Outraged by certain discourses, equally held by high officials from my country, than by ordinary citizens in the street, and particularly concerned by the condition of women, and what it represents in society, with time and modest experiences, I understood that only women’s education and access to knowledge would fight against this plague. It became one more reasons to participate in FAM programme, thanks to which I hoped to gain more resources to defend the cause of women, and be part of the women whom elevate others.
What did you learn from the training?
Beyond the extremely enriching theoretical tools and meetings with French experts from different horizons, I particularly learned from the debates with the others laureates. Listening, confronting points of view, better understand their professional career and demonstrating the same determined and inspiring attitude, willing to change the status of women and elevate it to the same rank of men in our modern societies, made me realised we were not the only ones experiencing frustrations, not finding our legitimate position in this patriarchal world, designed by men, for men. I realised that, hand in hand, we could change this situation, thanks to reforms, in every of our countries, and that it will eventually echo in other parts of our connected world.
What is GEMED and what role do you have in this network?
GEMED is the network created by FAM laureates after the training. I am a founder member of the network. We actively work to rapidly put it together and confer it a legal framework in order to be joined by the next FAM laureates and, with time, be useful to the greatest number.
How useful the training turned out to be for your professional career?
The training helped me realise how realities in oriental societies were similar in occidental societies. FAM confirmed that women must play a decisive role along men in the development of our societies. Men and Women must learn to become equal. We must educate our society to equality, in order to internalised it in our conducts.
Today I feel more confident, determined more than ever to display a positive image of women, for men and women themselves, in order to them being able to accomplish their crucial role in the political, economic or social future of our country. I am deeply animated by a glimmer of hope, which guides my actions and leads me to believe to an equitable and inclusive future.