Tuesday, 23 June 2015 00:00

Transformational leadership training for women's rights and empowerment” launched by EASUN

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EASUN carried out its first training to equip women leaders with transformational skills, self-awareness and commitment to lead change for women's rights and empowerment in community and organizational contexts.

The training was carried out in collaborationwith UZIKWASA, a CBO and “learning site” for methodologies in facilitating transformation in grassroots communities. From 20th-22nd April, EASUN and UZIKWASA were in Sakura village, Pangani district of Tanzania, where they conducted the first training on "Transformational leadership for women's rights and empowerment". This is an activity supported by HIVOS and Bread for the World in collaboration with EASUN over a two year period, 2014-2015.


The training in Sakura village involved 29 participants. Thirty percent (30%) of these were men, which was in line with the recommendation from a networking consultation of EASUN's partner organizations held in Moshi, Tanzania, in November 2014.

Confidence, ownership and responsibility taking emerged for young and older women in the workshop situation. Two male participants were also influenced to change their perceived male dominance prerogatives. On the second day of the workshop one of them reported that he had woken up at 6 am to sweep the compound of the homestead. This particular role in Pangani rural communities is strictly reserved for women.

Unconscious processes that perpetuate gender based violence in communities and organizations were surfaced through various exercises in the training process. Images shared by participants through metaphoric work highlighted hidden beliefs, attitudes and values that allow insensitive, discriminatory and violent behaviours against women and the girl-child to continue in local communities. Additional alternative language channels such as role-plays led to specific discoveries and plans for new leadership actions by individual participants. For instance, one woman expressed discovery of her own “power-within", and her readiness to use it to legally follow-up on property rights that were denied to her after she had lost her husband.

This first training confirmed for EASUN and UZIKWASA facilitators that cultural and power issues surrounding gender are usually quite complex, hence the need to translate any learning around them into simplified processes. This was partly demonstrated in the Sakura training through good use of “posture” by the facilitators, including letting go and trusting the processes.  Participants were thus enabled to generate their own knowledge for learning to emerge. EASUN will continue the pilot phase of this training with another 7 organizations in similar partnership as was the case with UZIKWASA in Pangani District.

Partner Organization equipped with advanced OD skills

Three (3) UZIKWASA staff members were coached by EASUN in the Sakura village training workshop and effectively applied advanced OD skills such as "shadow surfacing" interventions. Use of such skills enabled participating men and women to see and take responsibility for their leadership questions and agency for supporting women's empowerment and "leadership identity" to grow. The training provided yet another opportunity for young women being trained by EASUN to cross new frontiers toward mastering advanced facilitation skills for transforming governance and gender relations in organizations and communities.

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Read 1175 times Last modified on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 12:33