Partners for Democratic Change and our affiliate Centers are committed to incorporating women as equal partners at all levels. Understanding and including gender considerations ensures that our work is more sustainable, relevant, locally-owned, and context-appropriate.
Partners' programs include up-front gender analyses to investigate the potential impact of program activities on men and women, their roles, and relationships. This allows program teams to develop appropriate strategies to overcome barriers to women’s participation, engage men and women as allies in a project, and create new opportunities for women in their communities without exposing them to unintended backlash.
Under Partners and Partners-Yemen's Community-based Conflict Mitigation (Y-CCM) program funded by USAID to create sustainable mechanisms for local conflict resolution in Yemen’s tribal areas, the team’s gender analysis led the program team to question the various roles women and men play in tribal conflicts. As a result of this inquiry, Partners uncovered how integral women have been in both perpetuating and ending conflict, directly influencing male relatives to either take revenge or seek reconciliation. This insight enabled the program team to coach female participants more proactively in how they could utilize their new mediation skills to reduce violent conflict.
Partners builds the leadership skills of women, and couples this increased sense of agency with specific technical skills that will enable women to engage as equal partners in development and democracy building. Partners offers an intensive Women’s Empowerment and Leadership program as a global training service for women in English, Albanian, Arabic, and Spanish covering key leadership concepts including: defining what leaders do, decision-making, emotional intelligence, active listening, peer mentoring, giving and receiving feedback, and personal growth and learning. This experience is intended to build women’s confidence, identify a personal concept of leadership, create awareness around the specific challenges women face as leaders in their given context, and identifying personal strengths and areas for improvements. This program can also be offered as a training of trainers (ToT) program to create a pool of qualified trainers to reach additional women.
Civil Society Capacity Building
Building on our work in leadership development, Partners and our affiliate centers offer capacity building services to women-led and -focused local organizations. These services cover both technical skills (i.e., conflict management, advocacy, and change management) and organization development to ensure the effective and participatory running of the organization itself. For example, Partners Mexico (Centro de Colaboracion Civica) has done extensive facilitation and conflict management work with women-led organizations focused on sexual and reproductive rights in Mexico and Guatemala. Staff have led sector needs assessments, facilitated strategic planning sessions for organizations and networks leading to the development of national advocacy strategies, and mediated conflicts within a network of pro-choice organizations.
Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform
In collaboration with the Senegalese Ministry of Armed Forces, U.S. National Defense University’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and the U.S. Army Africa Command, PDC’s African Institute for Security Sector Transformation (AISST) based in Dakar, Senegal has provided technical assistance to the Senegalese military in its efforts to mainstream gender considerations within the armed forces. AISST has facilitated dialogue among military and government leaders, civil society organizations, and servicemen and women from Senegal. AISST also convened female generals from the U.S. and Gabon, female colonels from Mali and Liberia, and high level security sector actors in Nigeria and the Gambia to share their experiences with women and men in the Senegalese armed forces.
Gender Sensitive Monitoring & Evaluation
Partners offers services in gender sensitive program monitoring & evaluation (M&E). In the past four years, Partners DM&E experts have been contracted to conduct over 10 program evaluations and design plans for major donors, including USAID and UNDEF, and contractors, such as MSD, MSI, Chemonics, DpK, and IREX in Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Mexico, Colombia, Senegal, Albania, and Indonesia.
For our complete Organizational Capacity Statement on Women's Empowerment, please click here.For more information on our Women's Empowerment work, please contact Matt Schwab, mschwab (at) partnersglobal (dot) org.