Civil and Political Participation

In the last year...

29000
Women across the Asia-Pacific region have taken part in leadership training
500
Women assumed regional or national leadership roles as a result of our programs
0
Women’s groups, organisations, and coalitions have been supported to increase women’s representation and leadership

Throughout 2016-2017, IWDA and our partners have supported diverse women to achieve and advance in formal and informal leadership roles across a variety of sectors. This includes  government, law, public service, human rights, community leadership, economics and finance, disaster and risk reduction management, industrial relations and labour rights, water, sanitation and hygiene, NGO/CSO management, media and communications, land management and land rights.

Campaigning Grants for Women in Cambodia

IWDA program partner, Amara, provided small grants for women campaigning in elections. The grants were used for transportation to villages, campaign clothing, and materials. Women who received the grant said they felt more confident, were able to travel further to conduct campaigning and had more opportunities to disseminate policy messages. Twenty-nine of the 44 women who received the grants were elected. One elected female commune councillor said, “the grant was very important, not just for me, but for all women. We don’t have much budget to use for campaigning … [so] I used this for transportation to reach far away villages to conduct my campaign”.

Myanmar Members of Parliament (MPs) Mentoring Program

IWDA is also working with Akhaya Women in Myanmar to implement formal political mentoring for six recently elected women MPs from diverse ethnic groups, regions, and political parties in Myanmar. With IWDA support, Akhaya Women is the first organisation to successfully implement such a model in Myanmar. The pilot launched in January 2017 and has focussed on building relationships based on common experiences as elected representatives. The connection with mentors and mentees is showing positive results with the MPs working together to improve outcomes for women, including presenting Bills to parliament, parliamentary working groups, affirmative action, confidence in communications and campaigning, and the celebration of women MPs.

Leadership for Garment Workers in Cambodia

In Cambodia, the United Sisterhood Alliance (made up of four organisations: Workers Network for Unity, Workers Information Centre, Messenger Band and Social Action for Change), have done extensive work in promoting leadership skills, confidence and activism within their communities.

This year, women garment workers successfully negotiated resolutions in three legal cases where they had not received fair treatment under the law. Workers Information Centre provided workers’ rights training for 1,595 garment workers, as well as specific mentoring and capacity development on analysis, negotiation, and communication for factory workers.

In total, United Sisterhood has reached 6,422 women sex workers, garment workers, farmers and community activists with information, training and leadership skills.

Young Women Leaders in Papua New Guinea

Through the Australian Aid funded Young Women’s Leadership Program with Bougainville Women’s Federation, over 150 young women from 4 districts in Bougainville have accessed ongoing leadership training and development support including establishing district level young women’s associations.

As a result, this has increased the opportunity for young women to connect, build alliances, and develop district plans aimed at increasing their opportunities and set the agenda for the future.

Programs

Description

This project aims to promote women’s human rights through women’s leadership training, capacity building workshops and exchanges, and advocacy.

Partners Implementing
Country

Myanmar

Description

The Young Women’s Leadership School on the Thai-Myanmar border, enables young women to learn skills in leadership and promoting women’s participation in community decision-making and political processes.

Partners Implementing
Country

Myanmar

Description

Focuses on strengthening local women’s organisations, helping enable women ward representatives to implement ward development plans and providing training to local community representatives in East Pomio communities.

Partners Implementing

WideBay Conservation Association

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

The program strengthens the capacity of multiple women’s organisations in Burma to advocate for women’s participation in the peace process.

Country

Myanmar

Description

Building enabling environments to support women’s participation in leadership, identifying and confronting new challenges and barriers, and building the leadership skills of individual women.

Partners Implementing

Wide Bay Conservation Association

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

This project aims to promote meaningful participation of women in Myanmar’s formal and informal peace processes, from the grassroots to the level of national government, through dialogue, active engagement, education and awareness.

Partners Implementing
Country

Myanmar

Description

This project aims to support women MPs in becoming influential advocates for gender equality policies in their own parties and the Parliament.

Partners Implementing
Country

Myanmar

Description

Improved protection for women and children, their access to justice, and contribution towards prevention through legal aid, legal education and advocacy.

Partners Implementing
Country

Timor-Leste

Description

This project supports three NGOs to empower women garment, entertainment and sex workers in Phnom Penh to understand, advocate for and realise their rights. It provides space for women to learn, develop skills, plan collective action, seek services and support.

Partners Implementing
Country

Cambodia

Description

Strengthening rural women’s political leadership at the village and municipal levels by supporting women candidates in elections, and providing ongoing support post-election.

Partners Implementing
Country

Timor-Leste

Description

The program aims to increase leadership roles for women, increased political and societal support for women’s leadership and improved gender equity in the exercise of political and social leadership.

Country

Cambodia

Description

To establish a Voter Education program for the ‘lost generation’ of Bougainville in preparation for elections in 2016-2019. Training will be delivered throughout Bougainville and will be linked to other programs including candidate training, young women in leadership initiatives, and referendum awareness raising efforts.

Partners Implementing

Bougainville Women’s Federation (BWF)

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

The We Rise 2 program is a 3.5 year program in line with Fiji’s election cycle and led by a dynamic coalition. The program matches organisational strengthening and movement building with research, advocacy, and civil and political education to promote inclusive governance, equality, diversity, justice and women’s human rights for Fiji women.

Partners Implementing

Coalition partners include: FWRM, Femlink, DiVA and IWDA

Country

Fiji

Description

Increasing women’s participation in peace-building and reconciliation in Burma/Myanmar, with a long term view to ethnically inclusive and gender-just governance and development.

Partners Implementing
Country

Myanmar

Description

The WAVE Program brings together partners across diverse countries and regions to help build innovative responses to challenges in women’s civil and political participation. This program enables women’s rights advocates and organisations to collaborate and lead transformative, sustainable change towards gender equality.

Partners Implementing

Karen Women’s Organisation
Palaung Women’s Organisation
Shan Women’s Action Network
Women’s League of Burma
Akhaya Women
Amara
Banteay Srei
United Sisterhood Alliance
Bougainville Women’s Federation
Voice for Change
WideBay Conservation Association
West ‘Are ‘Are Rokotanikeni Association
Women’s Rights Action Movement
Asistensia Legal ba Feto no Labarik
Alola Foundation
Gender & Development for Cambodia

Country

Multiple

Description

BWF will strengthen women’s leadership across various levels of influence.

Partners Implementing

Bougainville Women’s Federation (BWF)

Country

Papua New Guinea

Description

The Young Women’s Leadership (YWL) Program addresses the needs and ambitions of young women seeking to increase their leadership effectiveness. It provides a safe space in which young women can engage and support each other, and participate in decision making for Bougainville Women’s Federation (BWF), the peak women’s body of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. This program follows on from a pilot which worked with 30 young women in 2015. These women will now work as trainers and mentors for participants in the expanded program. The YWL Program 2016-18 will use the findings of the jointly commissioned 2014 Young Women in Leadership Study (BWF and IWDA) and learnings from the pilot program to expand the training and support of 120 young women leaders across South and Central Bougainville. This will support the overall sustainability of BWF through increasing engagement and capacities of young women as active members of the Federation.

Partners Implementing

Bougainville Women’s Federation (BWF)

Country

Papua New Guinea

Stories from the Field

Timor doubles the number of women village chiefs in recent elections

The percentage of women in Parliament in Timor-Leste is one of the highest in Asia-Pacific, with 38% of parliamentarians currently women. But at a local level, where decisions affecting the everyday lives of communities are made, the picture is very different – two years ago, only 11 of the 442 elected Village Chiefs were women. In November 2016, this all changed. Timor-Leste’s historic Village election saw the number of women Village Chiefs double, with many more women were elected Hamlet Chiefs or women’s representatives to Village Councils.