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Women Gain Leadership Skills at Women’s Academy for Political Party Leadership
Vienna, Austria- Reflecting upon a week of trainings, workshops and meetings with women parliamentarians, political party leaders and businesswoman from Austria, Nagham Ghadri, a member of the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) from Syria, offers, “I’ve been to a lot of trainings held by other groups, other organizations. A lot of trainings where I really didn’t learn too much, but here, every speaker, every presentation gave new information, and I needed it all.”
Ghadri, along with WDN members from Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Serbia, Syria and Ukraine, were part of WDN’s Women’s Academy for Political Party Leadership, which was co-hosted by nonpartisan women’s club, Club Alpha. The four-day academy offered participants, who included local and national level elected officials, political party leaders and civil society activists, workshops to help them strengthen their leadership skills and take a greater role within political organizations.
From September 22-25, participants learned strategic approaches to effective leadership as well as ways to encourage more women to engage in political life. The academy combined intensive training and productive meetings with women leaders in business, major political parties and government.
Led by Maria Rauch-Kallat, herself a WDN member and the head of Club Alpha, participants developed individual strategic plans to advance in leadership roles and to serve as catalysts for positive change within their organizations. Rauch-Kallat also shared her personal experience in Austrian politics, which includes serving as minister for environment, youth and family; minister of health and women; a Member of Parliament and as the secretary general of the Austrian People’s Party.
Reflecting WDN’s multi-partisan focus, participants also heard from women, and men, leaders from various Austrian political parties who shared personal anecdotes about their careers and impart technical skills.
After hearing about how the various trainers achieved leadership positions in politics, Florence Mutua, a WDN member from Kenya, remarked, “I believe I am on the right track, but I now know I need to keep developing my skills. I need to work more on my confidence, because if one is confident one is more articulate. I should be more visible in a positive way, and jump at opportunities.”