Women, Let Your Voices be heard!

COMINSUD ORGANIZES WORKSHOP AIMED AT TESTING TRAINING MATERIAL TO DEVELOP WOMEN’S POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SKILLS

COMINSUD organises a two day workshop on the 4th and 5th October 2012 to test the training materials and workshop methodology being proposed for training women aspiring to be councillors.

The initiative is one of its kind in the region bearing in mind that there is a poor political education amongst women and taking into consideration that today out of the 1088 councillors in the North West Region, only 177 are women with no woman among the Region’s 34 mayors.

The event drew a cross-section of women including those with political, communication and training expertise to provide feedback on the content and other aspects of the workshop and training materials. The workshop was facilitated by Michelle Hain VSO Volunteer in COMINSUD. The workshop also provided a forum for participants to discuss the framework already put in place, solutions and moving forward, and the reasons why it is important for women to be represented in the political process and how to empower other women who want to be part of the process as well.

The first session ‘Deciding to stand’ assessed the participants’ personal readiness to stand which is the first important step on becoming a councillor. The session enabled the participants to identify some pertinent questions they should be asking themselves. Participants were stimulated to think about strategic actions they could take inside their political parties to increase the number of women selected. This enabled participants to understand networking and influence to help them develop strategies to use personally and collectively within their parties.

Campaign planning enabled participants to understand the phases of campaigning, appreciate the importance of planning their campaign. Participants were drilled on targeting voters and message development. During this session participants were given the floor to do deliver campaign messages as in the field while taking into consideration their targets.

Madam Esther Ngala Ntala of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) and lone female Parliamentarian in the North West Region shared her experiences in the political arena while encouraging the women and opening their eyes to some of the challenges they will meet in their political life.

This training is part of the project “Campaign for More Women in Councils in the North West Region” with objectives to augment the political competence of at least 250 women in the region, sensitize the public and opinion leaders on positive attributes and skills women have to make good councillors, call on political parties to respect voluntary quotas for women and give a chance for women councillors to address issues affecting women in their councils. This project is conceived and implemented by COMINSUD, with funding from UN Women Cameroon.

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About COMINSUD

Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) is an organisation dedicated to sustainable development in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. COMINSUDs main office is located in Ntarinkon but she works throughout the North West Region to improve the lives and livelihoods of Cameroonians. Focusing on projects and programs of democracy, women's empowerment and good governance, COMINSUD aims to work with rural communities towards a better and more sustainable future.