Tag Archive | "women leaders"

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WLP Central Asia Regional Training – An Indescribable Experience

Posted on 16 May 2013 by

WLP guest-author, Bahriniso Shamsieva, is a Mine Action Project Assistant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Tajikistan Office and also an activist with local NGO Marriage and the Family. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant. Bahriniso shares her reflections from the training below.


Dear sister! I want to share my impressions on the WLP leadership training seminar in Shymkent, Kazakhstan. I have the most vivid and warm memories of the event, because it was an amazing opportunity to meet with so many unique women—both from neighboring Central Asian countries as well as from abroad. I realized that women around the world have shared vision for the world and our problems are very similar. And we can all easily understand each other and support each other. WLP as an organization is using their knowledge and experience to help us to unite and support each other.

Personally, working with these wise and active women who share similar passions, brought me great happiness and pleasure. Meeting with politician trainers— such as Asma Khader and other no-less inspiring women leaders— face-to-face, hearing them speak, and learning so much from them was an indescribable experience.

There were three of us women from Tajikistan at this Institute, and we were so pleased to have this opportunity. At this time, Tajik women are in need of such leadership trainings, as these trainings may help change their mentality and help them realize their place and significance, and find the strength to become more active in the personal and public arenas. While many of the preconditions for this kind of change are in place in our country, women still do not use their full potential and are not very active in politics and public life.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the organizers of this workshop training on behalf of the Tajik delegation and myself personally for inviting us and for this opportunity!

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Reflections from WLP Central Asia Regional Institute

Posted on 10 May 2013 by

WLP guest-author, Saida Arifkhanova, is trainer and facilitator for journalists with twenty years of experience and a public relations specialist in Uzbekistan. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant. Saida shares her reflections from the training below.

Saida Blog Post

This training made a very unique impression on me. The participants of this training were beautiful and stylish women, possessing strong character and leadership qualities. Participants were instantly happy to see each other and it was clear that something invisible united them. In all, there were women from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. And there were the four of us—women from Tashkent— representing Uzbekistan.

Gradually, I learned more about those who took part in the training and realized that each of these women has a unique position, and that each is successfully serving her community. Many participants work on issues such as human rights, women’s rights, and protecting women from abuse. I could sense their resolve to act decisively to achieve social change. I could also tell that these women held harmony and calm in their hearts, so when I heard about the struggles they faced everyday in their work I felt confused.

So, I asked many of the women if they were happy. At first my direct question seemed strange to them, and they did not answer me directly. Yet, as the days went by we began to communicate more closely, and many of the women came up to me and began talking to me. Gradually, our communication became more intimate and heartfelt.

I learned that each woman has a complex history behind her—the story of what pushed them to dedicate their lives to creating change. For some, that pivotal event was the experience of an ancient tradition of custom—for example bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan or norms that deny women a voice and a vote, and confine her to her role in her family. Some of what I heard was new to me, as I grew up in a family where my parents always discussed issues openly and made decisions together.

Some of the participants shared first-hand accounts of recent conflict in Kyrgyzstan and human rights abuses. As they shared their experiences and their stories, I realized that these women are making history and that each hard won freedom gives them personal strength and inspiration. So many of these life stories were piercing and unique. I began to see clearly that all of our women from Uzbekistan possess the same features and abilities as our peers in other Central Asian countries, but we have been completely overwhelmed by the need to maintain stability in our country.

During this training it became obvious that our countries are no longer as  similar to one another as they had been before and our realities are quite different today. Tajikistan has experienced a war, Kyrgyzstan has been through two revolutions and many difficulties, Kazakhstan is still overcoming the sharp shock of transition, and Turkmenistan faced leadership transition. In Uzbekistan, we are still struggling to maintain our stability, at the cost of many of the gains of independence. Still, while women in our countries do not speak the same language or share the same experiences, we very clearly understand each other and can relate to each other’s adversities.

Through the training it became very obvious that all these women are educated and independent, and that they will continue to do what they do despite these adversities. However, they still benefit from this access to better tools to support them and the work that they are doing for their communities.

Namely, they benefit from acquiring special skills and knowledge of topics such as,  modern public relations technology, effective communication skills, time management skills, and techniques for developing a vision. In addition to the training provided, this may require a special training facilitated by experts in all these areas. It is obvious that these women will be able to comprehend these complex topics, and from what I saw at the training these women could benefit from even more investment in their tremendous capacities.

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No Spring for Arab Women: A Sober Report from CSW and a Wake Up Call

Posted on 08 March 2012 by

This year’s 56th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was convened to address the global issues of “Rural Women’s Empowerment, Poverty Reduction and Rural Development”. This would have been pretty much “business as usual” if it were not for the fact that, since last year’s 55th CSW, the world is rapidly changing, most notably in the Middle East and North Africa, where it seemed, just a few months back, that the well-established post-independence autocracies would remain in power forever! Indeed, the world has changed since the last CSW. However, the hope that was felt during the 55th CSW, what with the mobilization and courage of young and not so young women and men, who took to the streets in many an Arab capital, gave rise to serious concerns about the winds of change inevitably coming to the region. A year later, change has indeed come, but with a turn that is thus far hostile to women. One after the other, elections have brought in conservative regimes, and political Islam now has the upper hand in most countries in the MENA region.

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Women’s Political Participation: Revisiting Sarah Jibril and Nigeria’s 2011 Presidential Primaries

Posted on 11 March 2011 by

The marginalization of Nigerian women in political affairs and decision making is as old as Nigerian society and predates the advent of colonialism in Southern and Northern Nigeria. Indeed pre- and post-colonial traditional cultures and European culture were deeply rooted in patriarchy. The normative systems they independently produced were male-biased and dominated. The marginalization of women was also evident in all other spheres of life such as the family, economic, social, labour and other relationships. It is widely believed that the marginalization of women in political participation and decision making processes has been responsible for the exclusion of the interests of women in governance and development paradigms.

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Mbarka Bouaida on Women’s Rights and Role in Politics in Morocco

Posted on 18 October 2010 by

Mbarka Bouaida is a Moroccan parliamentarian and Chair of the parliament’s Committee of Foreign Affairs, National Defense and Religious Affairs. She contested under the women’s quota in 2007 and became the youngest member of parliament representing the Commune of Anfa in Casablanca. Now, after being elected for a second term outside the umbrella of the women’s quota, she represents Morocco in the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly. WLP interviewed Ms. Bouaida after she spoke about women’s political participation in Morocco at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

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Women & Environment on Earth Day

Posted on 22 April 2010 by

From WLP’s Twitter Feed on Earth Day

Twitter results for #EarthDay from: wlp1

  • Wlp-group_normal
    wlp140th Anniv of #EarthDay. Many inspiring women in global environment movement. Highlighting a handful today. Happy Earth Day!

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WLP at the 54th Commission on the Status of Women

Posted on 11 March 2010 by

2020 Vision: Mobilizing for women’s rights and eliminating violence against women
New School, March 5th 2010

The UN Fourth Conference on Women which was held in Beijing in 1994 was certainly a global landmark as it represented the culmination of women’s activism worldwide and the recognition of women’s rights as human rights.

The exhilaration that accompanied the Beijing conference did not take long to wither and fade.  Indeed, most governments failed to honor their commitments towards women. 

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Wadad Shakhtoura: A Pioneer of the Women’s Movement in Lebanon

Posted on 17 November 2009 by

CRTD.A mourns the passing away of Wadad Shakhtoura, a pioneer of the women’s movement in Lebanon and the president of the Rassemblement Démocratique des Femmes Libanaises.

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