Supporting Women's Leadership
As part of Partners-Hungary’s work to build a more open and developed democracy, the organization has engaged in a series of programs to encourage greater gender equality. Following two highly successful training projects, it formed a women’s network for aspiring private and public sector leaders, which will serve as a tool to guarantee equal participation of women in decision-making processes.
The network, made up of training participants and women’s non-governmental organizations in Hungary and Slovakia has achieved a great deal in only a short period of time. Its members have implemented four successful micro-projects, with more planned in the future, including a study trip for Hungarian women’s NGOs to meet with colleagues in Slovakia, two conferences on gender issues, and a memorial promenade for women who have made a difference in their communities.
This network of highly trained, successful women leaders was formed after Partners-Hungary completed the 3-year, European Union-funded “Women in Public Life” project in May 2006. The project involved a series of trainings designed especially for Hungarian women to improve the ability of participants to be effective leaders at work and at home. Partners-Hungary incorporated lessons learned from that program into a new one-year project, designed to improve the leadership and project management skills of another group of selected women and prepare them to take on more active public roles through trainings and small grants. Sixty women were chosen for their demonstrated leadership ability and eagerness to seek new positions of greater responsibility with local, national and EU-level organizations.
Participants were motivated to take on positions of greater responsibility in their communities and in their work as a result of the trainings and hands-on project management experience. The program’s emphasis on cooperative processes taught the group members to represent collective interests and work towards common solutions. And study tours to Poland and Slovakia granted Hungarian participants the opportunity to network beyond national boarders, increasing the scale of the newly formed women’s network.
The women’s network that was formed as a result of the training seminars and meetings will continue to provide program participants with opportunities to share knowledge and experiences, to learn from each other and to motivate fellow group members during future pursuits. Participants are now better prepared to become effective civil society, government and business managers, and will continue to utilize the network to create new opportunities for themselves and for their colleagues.