Partner Organization’s Training Reaches Over 1400 in Zimbabwe

The WLP leadership and political participation curriculum reached over 1400 women, men, youth, civil society workers, and government employees in the past year through trainings implemented by WLP Zimbabwe/Women’s Self Promotion Movement (WSPM) and other civil society organizations in Zimbabwe trained by WSPM. This spread of WLP’s grassroots workshops is a cascading effect of a recent WLP Training of Trainers Institute (TOT) held in Harare, Zimbabwe by WSPM in February 2013. Twenty six women participated, including representatives from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the Professional Business Women and Executive Women Organization (PBWO), and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender, and Community Development (MWA).

After the February TOT, MDC went on to independently hold trainings in all ten provincial capitals of Zimbabwe, directly training 345 women and girls who collectively went on to train hundreds more. MDC National Coordinator Sally Dura, who attended the February TOT, said, “Although I cannot give the figure of those who were trained by our trainees, I know it is beyond one thousand women and girls.” In addition to these figures, TOT participants from MWA and PBWO have also trained dozens of women, men, and youth throughout Zimbabwe.

WSPM timed the February TOT to maximize its impact on the March 2013 constitutional referendum and July 2013 elections. The TOT’s participants, coming from provinces across the country and a variety of backgrounds, were strategically chosen by WSPM to maximize the TOT’s potential to disseminate across the country. In the wake of that TOT, a new pro-woman constitution was passed by referendum and the proportion of women in the Zimbabwe parliament increased to 34 percent, signaling a desire for change across Zimbabwean civil society.

Participants in the February TOT gave positive feedback, reporting greater political interest and understanding, with several women expressing interest in running for office. A representative from the Women in Politics Support Unit (WPU), also present at the February TOT, said it added significant value to the work of her organization in part because it provided the opportunity to build connections with other women’s organizations in Zimbabwe. Afterwards, WPU held “women voting for women” campaigns alongside WSPM.

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