Strengthening women’s skills and their access to leadership roles.
MEDITER – Women for Change is a cooperation project between Local Authorities (IRIS Provincia di Pescara) and Non-State Actors (Safadi Foundation, CAWTAR and Graif), to support working women in local authorities and NGOs of the Euro-Mediterranean zone.
Through their fieldwork experience, the partners have seen the necessity to strengthen women’s skills and their access to leadership roles within the LA and NGOs of the region, in order to improve the active participation of local actors in the field of regional development.
Indeed, less than 1% of women hold leadership functions in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
If human capital is the strategic resource of the new economy, investing in women means investing in a underestimated potential, not only economically but also socially and culturally.
Specifically MEDITER – Women for Change intends to:
• contribute to a better availability of statistical sources and qualitative data on the Euro-Mediterranean women status/condition, through preliminary studies;
• strengthen the capacities of a target group of 25 women beneficiaries of a training in the field of planning and local management. The harmonization of skills will also facilitate cross-border initiatives and effective management of regional and international resources.
• through the active involvement of women thus formed, creating a recognized network of legally ANE and LA, in order to provide the necessary technical assistance to local stakeholders and to encourage exchanges between them. One of the strategic keys of sustainable development is indeed in the ability of connection between the Mediterranean LA and NGOs and the possibility of using common strategies for local development. This connection will be implemented through the realization of a pilot project in the field of cultural management.
The overall objective of the MEDITER – Women for Change project is to strengthen women’s leadership within Local Authorities and NGOs and, through them, to provide an appropriate response to the risk of economic, political and cultural marginalization of Mediterranean region, one of the strategic areas of European gravity.
The Euro-Mediterranean region is a cross-border area highly strategic for north-south balances, because of an obvious cultural, historical and territorial contiguity with the European continent in its entirety and also for the contradictions that can lead reasons of potentials conflict such that the significant disparities in economic, social and cultural levels. In line with the requirements of the current economic climate, it consists in adopting an integrated systemic approach, both local and global, through which Local Authorities, associations and NGOs can exercise their strategic function effectively.
To this end, the project MEDITER – Women for Change aims to strengthen women’s skills and supporting their progress at the managerial level of Local Authorities and NGOs, enabling them to influence within these on decision making for local and regional development.
Indeed, it is recognized that adequate training of human resources at the local level, particularly in public management, can significantly increase the active role of Local Authorities in development processes at national and regional scale directing the allocation of resources and cross-borders policies. For the same reasons, it is necessary to advance the managerial skills in the framework of a strategic planning for local development.
Indirectly, the project aims to reduce the risk of crisis (economic, political and social) in the Mediterranean area, through the strengthening of women’s representation in the areas/ spheres of administrative hierarchy and decision-making positions within Local Authorities and NGOs.
To achieve these objectives, the project aims more particularly to achieve the following two specific objectives:
1. Increase the preparedness and access of women to decision-making positions by developing an ongoing program of higher education for women-managers of Local Authorities and NGOs, and this, by recognizing the fact that women represent a significant human resources potential but who are still too often discriminated in high- level educational and professional circuits. Achieving this goal will stimulate Local Authorities and NGOs in their activities and to contain the gap in terms of professional preparation and access to employment between men and women in the Mediterranean basin, where less than 1% of women on the southern shore of the Mediterranean is accessing to government and management positions.
2. Encourage the constant exchange between manager-women of public and nonprofit sectors on subjects of common interest, through the creation of a thematic network dedicated to the development of cultural policies. Developing the skills of women in the field of strategic planning and more particularly of the cultural services management, the network will help to capitalize optimally a whole knowledge capital, skills, sensitivities and cultures and encourage dialogue and international cooperation processes, strategic planning and management of sustainable development at local and regional levels.
The creation of a such network will ensure the sustainability of obtained results and replication of the training model and transnational cooperation proposed by the project by encouraging “spontaneous” exchanges dynamics able to self-sustain on the long run. The network will also connect local entities and organizations supporting women’s leadership in the Mediterranean and allow the information dissemination and exchange of good practices. Therefore it consists in developing a true virtual meeting center where you can find potential partners in the framework of cross-border cooperation initiatives, obtain content sources and useful information, as well as technical tools for management and planning of local services. In addition, the active development of the network, along with its creation, foresees a permanent commitment of Mediterranean Local Authorities, NGOs and international institutions, to ensure sustainability of the network at medium and long term. Finally, the network could benefit from the practical support of the various committees and institutions which promote gender parity and equality already existing local in local and national authorities of Mediterranean Europe and countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean.