(AGI/INFOAFRICA) Tunis, June 23 - A regional platform promoted by the Italian Development Cooperation agency to spur women's activities in rural areas was officially presented in Tunis on Thursday. Developed by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) in Bari, the project falls within the framework of its "Enhancing gender-mainstreaming for sustainable rural development and food security" or "Ge.Mai.Sa" programme, with the purpose of acting as a tool to share knowledge and good practice and foster women's empowerment in rural contexts. The platform offers information on Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon, and can be reached via the internet address gemaisa.iamb.it. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals in the UN's Agenda 2030, the initiative offers a multidimensional approach that considers both women's economic and educational empowerment in rural areas, but also their living and working conditions. Conveying the concrete experiences of the Ge.Mai.Sa regional programme, the speakers at the platform's presentation shed light on the central role played by the Middle East and North Africa region and the complexity of women's status in the area, putting forward evidence of the need to act in tandem with national institutions that support a multilevel approach towards women's empowerment, including through the modification of social norms in specific local contexts, and especially in the most vulnerable areas such as rural ones. (AGI). .