“We envision for women to have equal opportunities and the capacity to fully participate in political and societal decision-making processes. Women should be recognized and supported in politics and society as leaders and agents of change”
Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) is a five-year programme (2016-2020) funded through ‘Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) fund of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This fund aims to create opportunities for women and girls and foster a transformation towards an enabling environment in which women’s rights are better protected. At both local and national levels the programs will contribute to sustainable, inclusive development and to fight against poverty and the lack of equal rights for women. The fund is managed by HIVOS and implemented together with local partners in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Jordan and Lebanon.
Aim for the WE4L Programme
The programme aims for women to have equal opportunities and the capacity to fully participate in political and societal decision-making processes. This also means women should be recognized and supported by politics and society as leaders and agents of change. Investment in leadership opportunities and political processes done at the sub-national level because this is where decisions are made and policies are implemented that directly affect people’s daily lives.
Specific Objectives of the Programme
The objectives of the programme include:
- More women participating fully and effectively in politics and public administration at sub-national level;
- Female leaders, linked with women’s rights organizations, have more influence on political and societal developments and on public opinion;
- Civic organizations such as trade unions and political parties promote full and equal participation of women in leadership positions and demonstrate a significant change in their own policies and practices;
- More recognition and support from the general public for women in leadership positions.
The programme has a wide range of activities which include the following:-
- Engagement with potential women leaders, but also with political parties, administrative bodies, civil society organizations, media and the creative sector.
- Multi-faceted capacity development for women with political ambitions and leadership qualities, networking, coalition-building and cooperation between aspiring women leaders and women’s rights civil society organizations, and creating or improving online and offline networks aimed at women’s political participation and leadership.
- Support empowered women leaders and organizations to use their skills and knowledge to create a more enabling environment for women’s participation and leadership on the ground. This entails women leaders themselves convincing civic organizations, public institutions, community leaders and political parties of the added value of having both women and men in politics and having women in leadership positions.
- Training, coaching and strategic expertise, as well as creative media and communications expertise.
- Advocacy to promote gender-sensitive electoral reforms and quotas for women’s representation in local elections and councils. This takes the form of online platforms, and reports, infographics and videos to highlight women as leaders as well as showing the obstacles they meet. For example, how the media portray women leaders compared to men in similar positions.
The programme is being implemented in five districts of the northern Malawi namely; Mzimba, Nkhata-bay, Rumphi, Karonga and Chitipa.
“I can promise you that women working together-linked, informed and educated-can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet”.
Isabel Allende (Chilean writer and journalist)