Women in Power (WiP)
The programme aims to strengthen women’s political leadership and democratic participation of women in decision making process. It provides feminist political training to women leaders, supports the formation of women’s political agenda using “Womanifestoes”, supports progressive women parliamentarians such as the Pacific Island Women’s Caucus and facilitate engagement with women’s rights movements.
We strive towards women’s transformative leadership at all levels of the society that would result in system change and increased democratic participation.
In the Asia Pacific context, democracies exist but are contestable in form, where there is repression, conflict, military interference and even corporate capture of government agendas. Where women are able to participate in democratic processes, they do not achieve significant numbers in decision making posts. Poverty, conflict and patriarchal attitudes also contribute to political disenfranchisement of women. However, having women in positions of power does not correlate to an advancement of women’s rights, as there is still a disconnect between women legislators and leaders and the broader women’s movement.
We work to address these gaps by continuous capacity building on transformative leadership with women leaders, particularly from marginalised and grassroots constituencies. We hold an annual Women Leaders Exchange that offers opportunities for elected women to learn of strategies and successes of other elected women within the region. The exchange enhances their policy knowledge, diplomatic experience and establishes important networks and mentoring opportunities for women in elected office.
We also conduct a Gender and Politics training for women who intend to enter into politics for the first time and will expand this into a regional training for grassroots women’s organisations and its young women organisers. The training encompasses laws, policies, standards and recommendations relating to women’s human rights, feminism and development justice.