Where We Are - Region

In Hausa, two different words refer to a leader or leadership. The first word, shugabanci, is more popular and refers to authoritarian leadership. The second word, jagoranci, refers to horizontal leadership. At the beginning, most of the participants felt that the first definition of leadership was more significant while the second definition only refers to someone who directs others but does not have the power to actually lead. At the end of the Institute, after much debate, participants came to the decision that leadership was not the ability to impose one’s desires on others, but rather to lead the people to a shared vision of the world we wish to create.
WLP and our Nigeria partner BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights convened a National Training of Trainers Institute (TOT) in Paynesville, Liberia in May for 25 women in leadership positions at community-based organizations focusing on women’s issues.
Due to government repression as well as the ongoing economic crisis in which inflation rates have soared past 1,000%, NGOs and specifically, women’s rights organizations, face a great deal of difficulty in the work they do on the ground. Violence against women is on the rise, and there has been an increase in the number of female-headed households as men leave to find jobs elsewhere. The HIV/AIDS pandemic adds to the crisis women and children are facing in Zimbabwe.
We are pleased to share that Ms. Solome Nakaweesi Kimbugwe has been named the Executive Director of Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) headquartered in Kampala, Uganda. AMwA was founded to create space for African women to organize autonomously, identify issues of concern to them and to empower them to speak for themselves. AMwA aims to provide solidarity, support, awareness, and to link African women active in skills building and self-development.
In May and July this year, nearly 200 women from six countries in sub-Saharan Africa participated in human rights and leadership development workshops organized by WLP and its partners. The workshops took place in Zimbabwe and Tanzania as part of the regularly scheduled programming for the Women's Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM) and Umoja wa Akina Mama Fizi (UWAFI). The response from participants and facilitators to WLP's empowering, cooperative leadership strategies was very positive. The workshops' success was largely due to the excellent planning and organization of the NGOs, whose commitment to new models of leadership and consensus-building provided the workshops with real-life context and problem-focused content.
Twenty-five women from eight African countries met in Calabar, Nigeria for the Africa Regional Learning Institute for Women's Leadership and Training of Trainers. Co-organized by WLP and BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights, the five-day Institute aimed to strengthen participants' capacity to become better trainers and advocates in empowering grassroots women to become effective decision-makers in their families, communities, and societies. Participants were from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Among them were Vabah Gayflor, Minister of Gender and Development in Liberia, and Hafsat Abiola, President of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy in Nigeria.
From November 25 to December 10, 2017, WLP partners from all over the globe will organize and participate in workshops, film screenings, and events as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Since its inception in 1991, more than 5,000 organizations from over 180 countries have participated. This year's theme, Together We Can End GBV in Education, places a strong emphasis on the human rights framework in order to advocate for institutional and policy change that prevents and addresses GBV in education.  
Women’s Learning Partnership will be hosting two parallel events during the 61st Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. Expert panelists will discuss empowering Syrian refugee women, and leading women poets will present readings on violence and peace. 
WLP partner organizations and affiliated civil-society groups from 11 countries are holding workshops on family law reform throughout early 2017. The content of these trainings will be based on research from case studies commissioned for WLP’s new global initiative, Family Law Reform to Challenge Gender-based Violence. 
In observance of the 2016 International Day of the Girl Child, WLP Zimbabwe Partner WSPM organized a successful campaign fighting child marriage and promoting girls’ access to education in Harare.
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