Women Leading Change: Experiences promoting women's empowerment, leadership, and gender justice | Empowerment | Leadership

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Four case studies describe experiences from Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia in promoting women's political and economic empowerment and leadership. Drawn from Oxfam partner organizations which operate in unique environments and have their own approaches, the case studies reveal a number of common themes. They describe the context in which women live, what leadership means and how to achieve it. Attention is given to working within existing institutions and cultural norms, and also to creating new institutions. The final section summarizes common lessons and considerations for future policy and practice aiming to promote women's empowerment and leadership. The organizations featured: ã Agri-Aqua Development Coalition (AADC) on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, which uses the Poor Women's Economics Leadership (PWEL) approach
  Editorial This publication is a co-production of Oxfam Novib, Oxfam America and Oxfam  Australia. The interviews and draft case studies were compiled by Ester Veldhuis and  Annaka Peterson Carvalho from Oxfam. It was edited and compiled by Joanna Bouma, Pelagia Communications. Please note that is not an Oxfam position paper. The views expressed in the ve case studies are those of the individual organisations. © Copyrights Oxfam Novib, 2011 List of organisations  Agri-Aqua Development Coalition (AADC), the Philippines Asosiasi Pendamping Perempuan Usaha Kecil (ASPPUK), IndonesiaCommittee to Promote Women in Politics (CPWP), CambodiaDairy Development Programme (DDP), Sri LankaPerkumpulan Sada Ahmo (PESADA), Indonesia  Acknowledgements We would like to thank the following people for their cooperation and contributions to this paper: ã  Anges Bolanos, Director of AADC, the Philippines ã Dina Lumbantobing, Cofounder of PESADA, Indonesia ã Thida Khus, Tep Chanbora and Aum Borany, Director and staff members respectively of CPWP, Cambodia ã Mohammad Firdaus from ASPPUK, Indonesia ã Nadarajah Ravikumar, DDP, Sri Lanka. This document could not have been completed without the support of Oxfam staff members Ester Veldhuis, Babeth Lefur and Annaka Peterson Carvalho, as well as Julie Klugman and Inga Mepham. Special thanks to Joanna Bouma for an excellent editorial  job. Grateful thanks also to Jeanette Kloosterman and Lincie Kusters for reading and commenting on various versions of this document.  CONTENTS Introduction (P. 4) Case Study from Cambodia  Committee to Promote Women in Politics (P. 21) Case Studies from Indonesia Perkumpulan Sada Ahmo (P. 36)   Asosiasi Pendamping Perempuan Usaha Kecil (P. 51) Case Study from the Philippines   The Agri-Aqua Development Coalition (P. 58) Case study from Sri Lanka   The Dairy Development Programme   (P. 69)  4   |  WOMEN TRANSFORMING POWER INTRODUCTION Introduction More than half of the world’s population is made up of women, yet women are often still in positions of reduced power and their work inside and outside the home goes unrecognised. Oxfam International is investing time and resources in addressing this situation and in analysing good practice. It recognises that what it calls a ‘transformative approach’ is a long process made up of numerous small steps in which women set their own agendas. It also “recognises that support for a transformative approach to women’s leadership is a key strategy for achieving gender justice” 1 . Oxfam argues that gender justice is not only about a more equitable position for women; it is about a more equitable society. “A transformative approach to women’s leadership is rooted in the values of embracing diversity on the basis of age, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, religion and ability ...” 2  Oxfam’s goal is that many more women gain control over their lives and live their lives free of all forms of violence. This can come about through changes in attitudes, ideas and beliefs about gender relations, and through increased levels of women’s active engagement and critical leadership in institutions, decision-making and change processes. 1 Oxfam International (Sept 2010) . “OI Statement on Oxfam’s Support to a Transformative Approach to Women’s Leadership”, Oxfam International, 2008.2 Idem.  A note about this publication  This introduction pulls together the key learning’s from ve of the six organisations in four countries. It features their experi ences in design and implementation, their issues and challenges, their effectiveness in promoting women’s empowerment and leadership. While each of the organisations operates in its own unique context and has its own approach, there are a number of common themes.   The introduction will rst take a general look at the background in which women live, before moving on to what leadership means and how to achieve it by working with both women and men. Attention will be given to working within existing institutions and cultural norms, and creating new institutions. Finally, the paper will pull the approaches together in a section on lessons learned for Oxfam International and CSOs working with women to promote women’s leadership.Please note that this is not an Oxfam position paper. The views expressed in the ve case studies are those of the individual organisations.
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