Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women

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Authors: Mahnaz Afkhami & Ann Eisenberg
In consultation with: Lina Abou Habib, Asma Khader, Sindi Medar-Gould, & Jacqueline Pitanguy

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Leading to Action is designed for use as a learning tool by those who are challenging themselves to play a more significant political role in their communities. Women’s participation is a critical step towards reshaping economic, political, and social conditions to allow for equality in opportunities and results for both women and men. WLP’s latest publication was developed to empower women to become democratic and participatory leaders. Whether the goal is to be elected to office, support a campaign, encourage women to vote, or secure better legislation for the community, this handbook helps women hone their skills to take the next political step. Scenarios are based on criteria set by our partners and give real life examples of successes and challenges women face in the political sphere. The appendices include a glossary of terms, extra sessions, and relevant United Nations conventions that support women’s civil and political rights.

Leading to Action is structured to be used in a workshop setting, and can be easily modified by those who use it. The sessions presented are guidelines only, changeable and adaptable for the communities in which they are used. For instance, the biographies of influential people and stories about successful campaigns are only illustrative starting points for discussion, and can be substituted with biographies and stories more relevant or familiar in each setting.

 If you would like to conduct workshops using Leading To Action in your country, please write to us at wlp@learningpartnership.org 
— WLP
 

Leading to Action can be used independently, but it shares the same values and learning framework as other WLP training materials. The political participation strategies emphasize communicating, listening, building consensus, creating shared meaning, and developing learning partnerships. These techniques create democratic, inclusive processes, and political participation strategies that are both ethical in their means as well as their ends. Just as there is no one path to political activism, there is no single approach to learning political participation skills. In Leading to Action, in addition to the political participation strategies, the learning process is itself intended to empower workshop facilitators and participants.

Table of Contents (excerpt)

  • Who We Are
  • Essentials of Political Participation
  • Guidelines for Facilitators
  • Workshop Section I: Politics and Power: Where Do I Fit In?
    • Session 1: Imagining a Better World
    • Session 2: Ethical Politics
    • Session 3: Where Do I Fit In?
  • Workshop Section II: Leading To Action: What Are My Next Steps?
    • Session 4: Identifying our Political Issue and Developing Our Message
    • Session 5: Mapping the Political Scene
    • Session 6: Core Constituency Building
    • Session 7: Networking and Coalition Building
    • Session 8: Getting the Word Out: Personal Communication Techniques
    • Session 9: Negotiation/Compromise/Non-Negotiables
    • Session 10: Measuring Success/Building on Experience
  • Workshop Evaluation Form
  • Appendices

Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women (2010) (217 pages)
English Edition 978-0-9814652-1-0 $29.95

Alerts & Updates
November 4, 2011 | 2011 Events, arab spring, Bahrain, Egypt, Family Law Reform, Human Rights, Iran, Jordan, Leading to Action, MENA, Middle East, Morocco, Rights & Reservations: Realizing CEDAW, senate, ICT for Social Change, Political Participation
The following is WLP President Mahnaz Afkhami's written testimony for the hearing on Women and the Arab Spring to the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operation and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues and Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Central Asia Affairs. Thank you for the opportunity to submit this testimony on the state of women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa during this critical time of transition. 
October 27, 2011 | Claiming Equal Citizenship, Constitution, constitutional reform, Family Law Reform, Jordan, Jordan, Leading to Action, Middle East, Political Participation
In response to demonstrations and protests taking place in Jordan beginning in January 2011, King Abdullah initiated a reform process this past spring focused on political and economic reform. As part of this process the King established a Royal Commission to review the Constitution and make recommendations for amendments.
October 4, 2011 | 2012 Events, Americas, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Leading to Action, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Political Participation
In October, WLP traveled to Lima, Peru for the World Movement for Democracy (WMD) seventh Global Assembly, Democracy for All: Ensuring Political, Social, and Economic Inclusion. The conference brought together WLP Partners and more than 500 democracy activists, practitioners, and scholars, providing an important opportunity for learning, exchange, and networking with civil society actors from across the world.
June 3, 2011 | Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Leading to Action, Political Participation
WLP convened a Regional Institute on women’s political participation in Central Asia on April 14, 2011 in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, co-organized by WLP Kazakhstan/Shymkent Women's Resource Center and WLP Kyrgyzstan/Human Rights Center “Citizens Against Corruption.” Thirty women leaders, including activists, journalists, students, as well as local and state administrators, participants shared experiences on networking with organizations to advance women’s political participation, promoting the transparency of government agencies, and developing women's leadership in the Central Asia region. They also highlighted the importance of monitoring governmental institutions on the development and implementation of gender policy, analyzing local and national elections, and empowering women on the ground to push for positive change for their full political participation.
S:SSO to Sakai