Leadership

One participant was divorced and living with her children in her father’s house. She was very passive at home and never objected to the decisions that other family members imposed on her, even when she disagreed. The divorce made her feel like an unsuccessful person and took away all her confidence to make decisions.

After participating in the workshop, she decided to say no and demand her rights. She realized for the first time that she is a leader - she had raised her daughters on her own without their father; she earns an independent income as a teacher and is able to offer a good life for her children without help from others. Her family was surprised and amazed at the change in her and how she began to express herself with confidence. They asked her, "What did the workshop do for you? You are totally a different person."
~ Bahrain Women's Association grassroots leadership workshop, Manama, Bahrain, 2014

Leadership and empowerment are at the very core of the Women’s Learning Partnership’s work.

Leadership Concept

We believe in leadership that is participatory, horizontal, and dialogue-based. Our participatory leadership concept promotes sharing power and respect, which creates a group synergy that both empowers the individual and mobilizes collective action towards democratization. The concept forms the basis for all WLP publications, trainings, advocacy and relationships.

WLP aims to empower women to take on leadership roles in their families, communities and societies in order to realize their own visions of a better future. We strive both for a quantitative change in the number of women in formal leadership roles, and a qualitative change in the type of leadership women exercise. Not only women, but all of society, will gain politically, economically, and culturally by leveling the power imbalance between men and women.

Leadership Curriculum

Working in cooperation with grassroots partner organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, WLP has developed culture-specific leadership training curriculum, including Leading to Choices: A Leadership Training Handbook for Women and Leading To Choices: A Multimedia Curriculum for Leadership Learning.

The curriculum uses interactive exercises and real-life case studies to convey the concept of participatory leadership and to enable training participants to develop personal leadership skills, such as communicating effectively, appreciating diversity, building consensus, creating a group vision, and developing an action plan. The Leading to Choices manual is available in over 18 culture-specific editions, each of which has been adapted by an indigenous women’s organization to ensure both linguistic and cultural suitability for the intended audience.

Leadership Training and Outcome

The innovative curriculum is used by WLP and our partners to conduct leadership trainings in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East through interactive Leading to Choices leadership workshops, Regional Learning Institutes for Women’s Leadership and Training of Trainers, and eCourses (online distance learning courses). Training participants include women activists, academics, domestic workers, factory workers, NGO leaders, politicians, refugees, students, indigenous women, and women with disabilities.

WLP's leadership training participants consistently report a sustained shift in their view of leadership from hierarchical and power-oriented models to democratic models based on consensus-building, participation and cooperation. Following the trainings, participants also establish more equal relations in the family and participate in civil society and political activities at higher levels than non-participants. In many cases, workshop participants have mobilized collectively to address shared challenges; participants have also gone on to accept formal leadership roles at the local, national, and international levels.

Alerts & Updates
December 16, 2015 | Africa, Human Rights, Beyond Equality, Leadership, Political Participation, Leading To Choices, Transitions to Democracy, Zimbabwe
Although the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for gender balance in decision-making and power, many women and girls are still unaware of their rights and how to exercise them. In response, WLP’s partner in Zimbabwe, Women’s Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM), convened 24 participants from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Women’s NGOs, academics and professional women to discuss how they can transform power relations in all spheres of life.
October 8, 2015 | Algeria, Human Rights, Iraq, Libya, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Bahrain, ICT for Social Change, Leadership, Egypt, Leading to Action, Young & Emerging Leaders, Leading To Choices, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine
“We shared one passionate spirit to formulate our visions for a better tomorrow and a better world.” - Ahmed from Egypt on his experience at the Active Citizenship and Movement Building Institute for Millennials in Beirut, Lebanon.
June 15, 2015 | Africa, Leadership, Political Participation, Leading to Action, Leading To Choices, Leading To Choices Multimedia, Senegal
The following article is a first-person account of an interview with Julie Cisse, Founder and Coordinator of GIPS WAR, conducted by WLP Senior Global Facilitator Lina Abou-Habib in Dakar, Senegal, May 30, 2015.
April 2, 2015 | Americas, economic empowerment, Brazil, Leadership, Leading to Action, Leading To Choices
From November 24-28, 2014, WLP Brazil/Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informaçao e Açao (Cepia) convened the 7th Annual Institute for Women’s Human Rights (or “Human Rights Institute”) for a total of 22 participating men and women lawyers, activists, journalists, teachers, and social workers. The topics covered included violence against women, reproductive rights, women’s health, the media, race/ethnicity, and the labor market.
S:SSO to Sakai