In the spirit of sharing inspiring actions, Sofia Martins from ECOS Cooperative (an organization for education and development based in Portugal, which is also member of DYPALL Network), explains what lead to the creation of an international project that aims to empower young women in the political arena:
Trends of the last decades highlight an accentuated crisis of political representation, especially among youth who prefer to get involved in more selective and autonomous forms of participation. At the same time, while political rights of women are embodied in the laws of most countries, they are not applied in practice and women continue to be under-represented in political decision-making, in public office and in the civil service.
The project “PatHERways: Creating pathways for political participation of young women”, coordinated by ECOS Cooperative, joined an international consortium of partners from Portugal, France, UK, Mozambique, Cape Verde, East Timor and Peru aiming to develop the competences of youth workers, youth trainers and educators to efficiently engage young women in the political life within their organizations, networks and communities, has we believe that change must come at earlier stages, and so, it is necessary to encourage and empower active citizenship and participation, since young age, educating and advocating for young women to turn their personal achievements into social a nd political ones.
The international consortium of partners understands this is a global situation, needing to be tackled both in nascent and more established democracies, since different realities persist over experiments made in term of legislative actions with different concrete achieved results around the world. Having in mind the global frame of this challenge and the multiculturalism lived in nowadays societies, the consortium of partner organizations has the aim of achieving a transnational understanding on this of topic and to contribute to the development of new models of women in politics worldwide.
The project involved a 1st Seminar & partners meeting that took place in Faro – Portugal, a Training of Trainers that will take place in October in Assomada – Cape Verde, a set of jobshadowing activities from the consortium of partners and a Final Conference in March 2018 in Lisbon/Cascais – Portugal that will join also local and national decison makers from the 7 countries.