The first training session of the Women’s Political Academy aimed to stimulate the women’s leadership. To reinforce their leadership skills, the training helped them identify the obstacles that might impede their self-confidence and helped them envision their political goals.
Following the first training during which women candidates sharpened their leadership skills, they had the opportunity to work on their public speaking skills in a political context through a three-day specialized training on political communication and public speaking. During this training, the young women analyzed different types of political discourse (including verbal and non-verbal communication) in order to gain insight on how to communicate effectively during the municipal elections.
During this training, women candidates explored different key elements to an electoral campaign, such as specific voter targeting, fundraising, volunteer management and coordination, while learning about all legal rules and principles surrounding electoral campaigns that must be respected. Those new tools enabled women candidates to better manage their campaign and to efficiently target their audience.
During the training on local governance and decentralization, women participants came to understand local electoral mechanisms, as well as the importance of a municipal council. They were also informed of the challenges facing local governance. The goal was to prepare the women candidates to exercise their power in the specific context of local political instances.
During this session, women candidates learned more on the topic of gender and how it interacts with people and society. Women became aware of the distinction between gender and sex, and of the many stereotypes surrounding the social conceptions of men and women. They also learned to reflect on how politics, education and the economy can reinforce these stereotypes and gender discrimination.
Now familiar with the concept of gender, women candidates were then introduced to gender mainstreaming in public policy. The candidates learnt the importance of using gender-sensitive indicators to evaluate their political projects and initiatives. Accordingly, they became aware of the importance of a substantive integration of gender within the political sphere to foster greater gender equality in Tunisia.
At the end of this two-day training, women candidates had a strong theoretical and practical knowledge of the status of Tunisian Women as defined per the Tunisian Constitution and international law. They became familiar with the various international conventions concerning women’s rights signed and ratified by Tunisia. Moreover, women discussed the Comprehensive law on violence committed against women and the necessity to actively pursue gender integration to ensure women’s social and economic rights.