Beirut, 16 December 2020 (ESCWA)--On 28 November 2020, ESCWA and its partners, the Arab Women Parliamentarians Network for Equality (Ra’edat), UN Women and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), concluded the four-week online regional training of trainers (ToT) on Women’s Political Leadership & Candidates’ Training in the Arab States.
The training was held in eight sessions and brought together 24 participants from 14 Arab countries with experience in political participation, election campaign management and training. They were introduced to the concept of transformative leadership with focus on campaign preparation, communications and voter contact, as well as fundraising and campaign management.
“Now that we have an established regional pool of experts and trainers, we believe that they will be a catalyst for change in their own countries. We have now built the base and will accompany those new trainers in their journey to ensure that women make it to the political arena,” said Mehrinaz El Awady, Leader of the Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development Cluster at ESCWA.
Participants became familiar with the Women’s Political Leadership & Candidate Training Manual for Trainers, developed by UN-Women and adapted to the regional context and to the objectives of the training programme, which targets candidates and campaign managers alike.
For her part, President of Ra’edat, Houda Slim, said that the programme “helped trainees to become trainers and enhanced their skills to attract more women into politics and encourage them to run for parliament”.
The Arab region has the lowest representation of women in political life globally and the widest gender gap in political participation, according to the Gender Gap Index. To bridge that gap, ESCWA will continue to support trainees to transfer the knowledge and skills they gained to national partners and campaign managers working with women candidates in their respective countries, while giving priority to countries hosting elections soon.