Encouraging women’s socio-political participation through networks
The Basque municipalities, Basauri City Council, City of Ermua, Getxo City Council, City of Ondarroa have participated in a joint project aiming to encourage women’s socio-political participation in municipal life.
The project included training sessions focusing on using existing networks to develop ways to strengthen women’s participation in socio-political life. One of the approaches was to work with women’s associations focusing on cultural activities, and bringing them closer to political participation and decision-making spheres. This was accomplished through the application of gender mainstreaming as a means of cooperation with various municipal departments.
Specific objectives of the project were:
- Strengthening women’s associations through training and discussions from a feminist perspective
- Promoting and/or strengthen participatory bodies of women
- Promoting awareness on gender-based discrimination among women
- Establishing schools of empowerment as a benchmark to encourage women’s participation in socio-political life
As a result of the initiative, women’s social and political participation has increased and 650 women have participated in the trainings. The project has also helped to influence local equality policies. Furthermore, the project has been acknowledged as a positive means of involving citizens in decision making and in local public life and to increase awareness on women’s role in society.
The project also involved providing support for empowerment processes for women from other cultures through the creation of networks for solidarity and international exchange. A part of the cooperation consisted in constructing houses for women in Refugee Camps in Tindouf in Algeria.
The experiences from the Empowerment project will be transferred to other municipalities and networks in order to explore the possibilities of creating synergies and to further promote ways of making equality between women and men a social reality.