Women Politicians Learn How to Push for Gender Equality in Political Processes

Women Politicians Learn How to Push for Gender Equality in Political Processes
Women Ledership Academy in Novi Sad
Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

NOVI SAD - The first in a series of Women Leadership Academies (WLA) was organized by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Novi Sad from September 16 – 19, 2015. Thirty five women politicians from seventeen political parties discussed gender representation and how to advocate for gender equality in policy processes.

Almost two hundred women politicians from more than thirty political parties in Serbia applied to participate in this year’s two academies in Novi Sad and Niš, and thirty-five of the best-ranked applicants participated in the Novi Sad academy.

“In Serbia, many women politicians want to progress in their careers, run for public office or learn more about gender equality. Through this project we want to help them achieve their goals. The Academy equips women in politics with the knowledge and skills they need to fight for the positions they deserve", said Mina Lazarević, Project Manager at the BFPE.

Participants learned about leadership, political participation and representation, and had the opportunity to improve their public speaking and political argumentation skills. “I have big expectations from the Academy, in particular from the sessions with women’s leaders and women MPs” said Radmila Mitrović, a Serbian Progressive Party activist from Inđija.

“This was an excellent opportunity for women leaders to strengthen their political and advocacy skills to be able to participate more actively in political and public life,” said Laura Pavlović, the Director of the Office for Democratic and Economic Growth at USAID Serbia.

Once all four Women Leadership Academies are completed, ten of the best participants who plan to run for office will be offered a six-month mentoring program to help them apply their newly learned skills in practice.

The “Women Leadership Academy” project is implemented in partnership with the Center for Support of Women from Kikinda and the Center of Modern Skills from Belgrade