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Women’s Empowerment

In the promotion of gender and women’s empowerment in leadership and decision making, Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) organised a reflection workshop on “Women’s Empowerment” in coordination with the Integrated Community Development programme (ICDP), Partnership programme (PP), Development Education and Advocacy programme (DEAP) and Finance and Administration (FAD).

There were 39 participants (20 women) who attended the workshop including the Executive Director, Finance and Administration Manager, Programme Managers, Programme Officers, Programme Assistants and women staff working in DPA’s target areas.
The objectives were to build and strengthen the capacity of female staff about their rights and ability to equally participate in leadership and decision-making positions as well as provide a forum for sharing ideas. After successfully completing the workshop, the participants would be able to: (1) Understand the basics of women’s empowerment and leadership; (2) Learn the challenges encountered by women with regard to equal participation in leadership and decision-making positions and expressing ideas; (3) Strengthen their rights and ability to equally participate in leadership and decision-making roles; (4) Enhance self-confidence and self-encouragement in participating in leadership positions and decision making and expressing ideas and (5) Develop an activity plan to strengthen women’s empowerment.

“It is a good thing to talk about gender mainstreaming, gender empowerment and women in leadership since there is now more global awareness on providing rights to women in social affairs, politics and social development,” said Mr. Mam Sambath, Executive Director of DPA. “DPA is one of the local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which has a commitment to work in gender mainstreaming and strengthening women’s rights in various sectors, especially in the area of social development.

“DPA has created a gender policy for internal use which has been implemented in our programmes and in other funding organisations. However, there are things which should be done to improve the gender work.” said Mr. Sambath. “The reasons for being unable to bring gender equality and equity to the region is not only due to violence but also due to the lack of encouragement for women as well as women’s rights.”

Each year, DPA provides training courses/refresher trainings and workshops to its staff to provide them with sufficient knowledge and capacity to initiate changes within programmes and organisations. However, there is also a need to reflect on gender practice within programmes and organisations and to obtain the knowledge and skills to improve the quality of work. It is also important to discover the key strategies of improving the quality of gender mainstreaming, which includes women in leadership-making roles, women’s involvement in development activities, women in leadership and women’s empowerment.