Working group Kickoff: Women’s leadership in municipalities

‘Women for women, and men are allies.’

Presentation of the mentoring concept by Heba Tijani | Photo: Connective Cities

With this statement, participants of the working group ‘Women’s leadership in municipalities’ have begun their activities. The virtual kickoff took place on the 16th May 2024 and included an input from the former deputy mayor of Bonn (Ms. Melanie Grabowy), and the showcasing of the GIZ manual ‘Duos for Empowerment’ on a Mentoring Programme for Women in the Middle East and North Africa focusing on practical experience from Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon (presented by Hiba Tijani, WOMENA-GIZ).

The participants who represent 14 municipalities and civil society from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and Germany have expressed their enthusiasm and team spirit to engage with their peers on this topic and to exchange experience in order to design localised solutions.

Thematically, the participants have highlighted the following areas of interest to be further examined as part of the working group’s activities:

  • Legal barriers and their impact on women’s election: assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the gender quota in election.
  • Opportunities and challenges for the full participation of women in politics and public affairs: examining the role of political parties, families, traditional societal concepts and strategies to overcome obstacles, during the election phase and while assuming responsibility.  
  • Women leadership and good governance in municipal functions: exploring the added value of women leadership in combating corruption, promoting access to information and fostering openness to the community.
  • Financial obstacles hindering women’s advancement: strategies for financing election campaigns and insuring adequate funds for women’s projects in local development. 
  • The community and women’s trust gap: a) assessing women’s knowledge about their legal rights and about implementing community projects, b) exploring the root causes of the community trust gap in women, c) exploring how women advocate for and communicate with relevant stakeholders with regards to projects of the common good.

In terms of the expected outcome and long-term impact, a tool that serves as a knowledge sharing product will be developed that will enable the  assessment of women’s performance throughout the election journey and while assuming municipal responsibilities. It shall provide evaluation criteria encompassing leadership skills, effectiveness in policy implementation, community engagement and other pertinent factors. Furthermore, the working group’s activities has an ultimate goal of empowering women in municipalities thus reducing inequalities, promoting social justice and accelerating the achievement of sustainable development goals at the local level.

It is worth noting that the working group built upon the showcased good practices and outcomes of previously held insight sessions in February and March 2024.

Recording of the working group kickoff

Muna Shalan, Connective Cities

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