Tag Archive | "women’s leadership"

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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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Another breakthrough for the Claiming Equal Citizenship Campaign: CRTD.A/WLP-Lebanon called by Ministerial Committee to present case for reform

Posted on 04 December 2012 by

Earlier this year, CRTD.A (WLP-Lebanon) was engaged in some serious lobbying which led to the inclusion of the reform of the nationality law on the official agenda of the Cabinet meeting of March 21st 2012.  This was the first time the matter was officially discussed with the Prime Minister that he gave indication that he is personally in favour of the reform of the law so that women have equal rights to transmit citizenship as men.  During that same period, CRTD.A was also in discussions with the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) on the process of reforming the law as well as the development of a counter proposal for a new law.  Both processes yielded results.  The NCLW concluded a process of consultations which culminated in the drafting of a law petition.  The Prime Minister for his part set up a Ministerial Committee formed of seven Ministers in order to review the nationality law and submit scenarios for reforms.

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Marching with the Nationality Campaign: A Foreign Guy’s Impression

Posted on 05 August 2011 by

On Wednesday July 27 Beirut saw hundreds of people protesting against the Lebanon’s nationality law in the late afternoon, which denies women the right to pass their citizenship to their children (in practice the children of women married to foreign men are not considered citizens). The march was organized by WLP Lebanon/CRTD-A and showed a successful turn out of women, as well as men and children, from all walks of life

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Can Child’s Play Lead to Effective Communication?

Posted on 07 March 2011 by

Malay participants learn to lead and communicate effectively with the use of play dough.

AWAM/ WLP Malaysia recently surprised leadership workshop participants by pulling out containers of children’s play dough in the middle of a session. Indeed, play dough was used to demonstrate important elements of successful communication, such as specificity and clarity.

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Leading to Choices Hits the Radio Waves in Kyrgyzstan

Posted on 17 September 2010 by

As a part of WLP’s Leading to Choices program, Human Rights Center “Citizens against Corruption” recently concluded 12 live radio trainings on the radio station Kabarlar. The goals of the radio trainings were devoted to expanding women’s leadership and participation in various spheres of social interaction and decision-making that will promote a fair and balanced relationship to both men and women in our society. All the materials for the radio training were based on the Kyrgyz language edition of the Leading to Choices manual, which includes 12 sessions on various leadership topics.

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What Political Participation Really Means for Women in Bahrain

Posted on 17 August 2010 by

Snippets from the Launch of WLP’s Political Participation Manual in Manama, Bahrain

I have just returned from Manama where I took part in the launch of the Leading to Action, WLP’s Political Participation Manual, the second of such events after Beirut last July. The Bahrain Women Association, our partners in Bahrain, organized this event as part of a national their workshop on women’s political participation. As shared with us last week, by our dear colleague Wajeeha from BWA, the group is gearing up towards the upcoming elections which will be held in Bahrain in October 2010.

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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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Fear — The Enemy of Gender Equality

Posted on 26 February 2010 by

Mar 8 Update: First Prize Winner in Group 2

Finalist in WLP’s Youth Essay Contest Group 2: 18-25 Years
Temitayo O, Nigeria

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?…As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson

A woman’s fate is determined by men and women who play God. Her first gift is a doll-named-Baby with which she rehearses home maker, wife and mother. She is groomed to be a ‘proper woman’ — the silent one when the men are talking. All these in preparation for her husband’s house; is that not where all ‘good’ women end?

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We Can Change…

Posted on 26 February 2010 by

Finalist in WLP’s Youth Essay Contest Group 2: 18-25 Years
Eda S, Turkey/UK

Insanlar mücadeleleriyle varolurlar“. Zeynep Gambetti, a scholar of Kurdish politics, found this comment inscribed in the visitors’ book at the Diyarbakir Art Centre’s exhibit of photographer Ami Vitale’s Kashmir photos. The phrase roughly translates as; “people come into existence through their struggles“. The struggle to “ensure the equal rights of men and women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights” has indeed defined the existence of many ethnically Kurdish women in Diyarbakir and, more generally, in the south-eastern region of Turkey. The obstacles in this struggle for equality are manifold. While the efforts of Kurdish women in Turkey to overcome these obstacles have been remarkable, there is still considerable progress to be made.

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Issues Facing the Women…

Posted on 19 February 2010 by

Finalist in WLP’s Youth Essay Contest Group 1: 14-18 Years
Pavani, India

My aunt was uneducated. Her name was Shanthi. She had a husband and a family of one girl and one boy. Now they are working. They are educated. They are working and earning money. One girl has recently married. By my aunt did not go to school because her mother died at a very young age. So she had to work in the home and had some problems. That’s why she couldn’t go to school and why she was uneducated.

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When Women Exercise Patriarchal Leadership…

Posted on 23 December 2009 by

In a move reminiscent of the series of unfortunate events described in Phyllis Cheslers’ seminal work “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman”, a Lebanese female judge, the vice president of the judiciary appeals commission, signed just a month ago an infamous appeal to revoke the landmark historical court order issued by Judge John Azzi and his two women co judges on June 16th 2009. This unprecedented court order gave a Lebanese woman married to an Egyptian man who was deceased whilst their children were underage, the right to pass on her nationality to her children.

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Opportunity to Learn and Teach from Fear and Rage in Iran

Posted on 11 December 2009 by

As we monitor the activities of the One Million Signature campaign on a daily basis, and circulate the overwhelming number of accounts of arrests and harassment of these brave women (and men!), it is easy to lose track of the small successes and uniquely human encounters that the campaign has brought about.

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