APGFWN Mentoring program

 


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Brief Introduction

A pilot project of two-half-day online training programs for women in the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East was launched for the first time on 18 & 25 April 2020. 

 

Objectives of the Training Program


1. Increasing skills, capabilities and confidence of women members in Green parties in APGF region through webinars

2. Increasing involvement of women as leaders in parties through mentoring and case studies

3. Increasing involvement of women on party executives and as candidates and as representatives of their national parties and  APGFWN

4.  Build the alumni of APGFWN mentees from the past three years’ intake for future exchanges and support

   

Background of the APGFWN-IDC and mentoring program for the past three years

The mentorship program was initiated in 2018 for the purpose of developing partnerships, furthering skills, and the sharing of experiences between key women in Asia, Pacific and Middle East Green parties. As a result, the mentees have deepened their knowledge of green politics and furthered their participation in their Green party and the APGF Women’s Network. The mentorship experience and relationship structure additionally provide support, guidance, role models, and valuable communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships over the year they are held. Pairs meet monthly for online calls assisted overall by the APGFWN mentoring team (Anita, Rachana, Michelle, and Saruul). 

The mentoring team has already completed two intakes of mentees and mentors and now there is the third one. Now, the plan is afoot to start the fourth intake in the month of July 2020. To date, 15 Mentees have been mentored by 14 different mentors. Sometimes, the mentors and mentees continue to meet informally after the one year period is over. A manual for the mentorship training is also available.

Online Training Program

The IDC-APGFWN online training program was held on 18 and 25 April 2020 with an Australian Greens IDC grant and support for the pilot program.The goal of building the alumni of women who have been part of our mentoring program over the past three years.  We aim to keep building skills, identify future training needs, and meet the goals outlined at the beginning of this document.  It was for the first time that all of the mentees met online.


It included mentees of three intakes and also included the possible mentees for the fourth intake. There were 15 mentees from several countries like Nepal, Pakistan, India, South Korea, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Mongolia, and Indonesia. Jordanian mentee Valentina could not attend the training as she was not well. South Korean mentee Judo did not attend as she was occupied with her party work. 


Here are the links to the  Agenda and minutes.

Brief Reflection on mentoring program

APGFWN Mentor and Mentee intake 2 - December 2018 

  1. Australian Green Leader - Mentor 
  2. Member of Mangolian Green Party, APGFWN Co Convener - Mentee

APGFWN Mentors intake 3 - December 2019

  1.  Australia Greens, Previously Global Issues Group representative for Victoria
  2. Victorian Greens, Over the last 11 years I have supported a number of campaigns including State Richmond, Federal Melbourne and Yarra City Council as well as the Federal seat of Batman
  3. Australia, Local Government Councillor/Local Group Representative at State Delegates Council (SDC) Meetings/Member of Local Government Working Group
  4. New Zealand, Active at a branch and provincial level in election campaigns and branch and province activities. 

APGFWN Mentees intake 3 - December 2019

  1. Nepali Greens, core member of the party and representative of APGFWN From Nepali greens and  also serve as international co-secretary
  2. India, India Greens Party Women’s Network Convener
  3. Jordan Green Party active member
  4. Lebanon Party Executive member 

Mentees learning experiences:

I.  Lebanon

Breaking rooms were informative on details and got to know each other more.  Also sharing experiences from a political persona was enlightening as well. 


II. Pakistan

  1.  All sessions I found useful but especially group work, small group and reporting back was very useful.


III.  India

  1. Yes, the objectives were very well met especially building up the confidence in me. As I have already been a mentee, I felt I have not only gained in skills and capabilities but also my involvement in the party has become more constructive.
  2. All the sessions were useful. All interactive sessions by breaking into rooms also was very beneficial since we all come from different parts of the world so the discussion on how things are there at their end is also a learning story. Sometimes not only the successful people but also the struggling people in the same way are guiding lamps.


IV.  Indonesia

  1. Leadership training!  As women, we often are not heard by the other members. Women are unheard of. There are still some invisible patriarchal issues and the men get more attention and higher position than women. It will be great if the training also includes how women tackle that issue and how women can influence the party with their agenda. Maybe the keynote speaker should be an experienced politician.

 Experiences

I learnt that most of the problems we the women in politics face are almost the same in other parts of the world. I also realised that communication between Greens is very important because the mentees learnt a lot from their mentors though internet connection was not good at times. My other experience is that it saves a lot of money for organising workshops; we get to know our fellow Green Female Politicians all over the world by only spending little time on the internet.

Two half days training program for all the mentees and future mentees those interested to be the part of mentoring program in fourth and fifth intake. It was a great reunion for all the mentees and developed the alumni for future to increase the participation of women in member countries.

  • Setting up and running Women Network inside your own country 

Many of the countries do not have WN and they felt the necessity of building women’s networks in the country. There is a need for guidance from APGFWN to the countries for building WN in their respective countries.


  • Gender Equity Toolkit 

The outline of this resource available on the APGF website www.asiapacificgreens.org APGF and its member Parties are committed to Gender Equity and to supporting women to become Green party members, to take leadership roles, The GE Toolkit was first published in late 2018. APGFWN  was funded by the IDC to continue activities to test the value of the toolkit.We are also trying different models and strategies to make this work. In the next 6 months, maybe, we can look forward to helping GE in Middle East countries. We are developing and adapting the gender equity toolkit through GE implementations training. We have already done it in India by India Greens Party We are looking forward to doing it in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Middle East countries. 

  • Achievement from Mentorship and Webinar project 

Achievements: 15 mentees to date, 14 mentors, GE toolkit, 15 online webinars, Gender Equity workshops and training trainers, the formation of women’s networks by India Greens Party, agreement by APGF Council 2018 to implement GE measures within their own parties.

  • Recruitment.

Recruiting of women to join the party and to take up key roles. For Gender Equity in the party the recruitment of women is a key factor. There are various procedures for recruitment: Social media is a strong tool for recruitment, creating membership forms, and posted on the website and on different social media platforms.


  • Christine Milne,  Global Greens Ambassador former parliamentary leader Australian Green party: women working in key roles within Green parties

She suggested having membership drives, campaigns related to women’s issues like health and reproductive rights. Christine pointed out that the Politics is not the end itself, it is the vehicle that leads to change, regarding the environment, climate change, non-violence, social justice, and equality.


  • Why is Fundraising Important? 

We cannot survive without funds. Therefore, we have to recruit new members and educate them and have outreach initiatives. Most parties start fundraising through membership: In some parties we have paid membership. The consistent bringing in of new members is really important. Potential fundraising strategy was also discussed.


  • APGF Women and Gender Equity policy

The policy development can be developed by the national party or if the party wants to adopt or adapt the APGF policy then it can work with translation of policies in multiple languages (Mongolian, Hindi, Indonesian, Urdu, Bengali, Korean, Japanese, Tamil, Arabic, Nepalese) Sexual harassment policies developed in the party and should be implemented inside the party. 

The party should:

    • Analyse the existing party policies relating to women’s issues
    • Identify gaps or new areas to be developed
    • The policy should address the policy for all the genders, so they have freedom from political, economic, social, and  cultural discrimination.
    • There should be a 50% target quota system in the party for the key positions, for elections for men and women. 
 
  • Case study and Career Path

Case study of journey in Nepali Greens by Rachana Shrestha. She became Nepali Greens member in 2016. Right now, she is an office bearer of Nepali Greens. Was a candidate for the parliamentary election in 2017. She is also an APGF Trainee till June 2020 and current APGFWN Secretary. Rachana was part of the Green Study tour in Australia in December 2018. Also, she was part of the International Gender Equity Trainers Training held in Nov. 2019. 

Upcoming task - Gender Equity Trainer for Gender Equity Implementation training in Bangladesh. 

  • Career Paths and support networks for you within your Party by Michelle Sheather

Through this session, the main emphasis was on the Mentee’s career path in their respective Green parties. The main thing to do is to think of a career in the Green party.


  • Guest Speaker: Saruul - Women and Human Rights

Spoke on the legal rights of women including United Nations Treaties and Conventions. This included the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Gender Equity Index and CEDAW - the Convention on the elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.

  • Community and Digital Campaign

Communication Strategy and Digital Campaigning, Social Media is a powerful tool to engage women in discussions so they feel like they are heard, and that what they care about matters. 

Suggestions

Exercise on political slogans and quotations, and more digital applications like TikTok.Talk about those countries in which women want to empower but due to some reasons they can’t participate in any party or work for women rights and law, we need to improve their skills and how to reach these women and how they reach us. Which strategy and initiative we can adopt for this. 

Such training should be more frequent if possible and then the mentees should gradually be trained to present, speak and discuss various aspects. This will further bind us as an APGFWN organisation and in future we can deliver better performance on any campaign or issues.



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In conclusion, I wish to commend the IDC and Asia Pacific Greens Federation, particularly the IDC Coordinator, Michelle Sheather for supporting and mentoring me in particular for this wonderful programme. I would also like to pay my gratitude to her for being my all time mentor and guiding me through the hard times. I had tough times in different roles.I also acclaim APGFWN intern Rachana Shresthafor being such a wonderful sub-committee team member of the webinar & mentoring program.

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