Strengthening women's participation and leadership in political parties

It was a pleasure to have met you all again and to have completed another workshop. Please find included the papers from Ms Deliwe Kambule and Advocate Pholo as promised. I would encourage you all to read through them and post any comments/reaction to the papers." Ms Kambule's presentation and paper was in response to suggestions by some of you to have someone address the issue of "The Role of Women in Politics". I am also of the view that this was addressed by Ms Pholo. The other topic was titled: "Strengthening Women's Political Participation and Leadership in Political Parties." Your reflection on these themes/subjects will assist you to design strategies to: (1) define your roles in the body politic in Lesotho; and (2) identify the best strategies/approaches to enhance your political participation, influence and effectiveness with renewed confidence within your parties. I wish you the best of luck as you prepare for the local government election in September but let us be in touch and do not hesitate to forward any questions that you need further information or clarification on.  To the participants in Zambia you are also encouraged to engage on these topics and I am hoping to see you soon for us to carry on the dialogue. 

With kind regards Tamzin"


The National Democratic Institute, NDI held a workshop on strengthening women’s participation and leadership in political parties on November 1-5, 2010 in Johannesburg. The Workshop provided a unique opportunity for women from different countries and parties to network, share experiences and learn from one another.  

During the Workshop, women from different countries and parties network, share experiences and learn from one another. The workshop aimed to increase women’s political participation in Southern Africa through capacity building training involving talented women from leading parties in Lesotho and Zambia. Specifically, the Workshop helped to develop the political skills, including campaigning, advocacy, leadership, media relations and fundraising necessary for women party members to participate more effectively and meaningfully in politics and take on leadership roles. The methodology of the Workshop, included time for lectures and alternative participatory approach featuring interactive discussions, role plays, speeches and various homework exercises. 

NDI conscious of the fact that the Workshop was an invaluable opportunity for learning and exchanges, has planned a follow up meeting for the training not to be a once off event. In fact, during the first quarter of 2011, a second meeting will be hold. Between the first and second workshop, participants will identify a project (campaign plan/strategy, advocacy outreach around important issues, a media relations initiative or fundraising activities) that they will put in place. 

This discussion circle on strengthening women’s leadership and participation in political parties is opened for the participants of the workshop to let them share their works but also to those who did not attended the workshop but have experiences and ideas to share. All welcome to compare and create knowledge through this circle on how women can be more effective in political parties. 

Question to women present at this workshop:

Dear Participants

I trust that you all had a wonderful festive season and on behalf of NDI I would like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year and everything of the best for 2011. I would like to inform you all that I will be visiting Lesotho and Zambia in the coming weeks and this visit will provide an opportunity for all of you to make inputs and contributions to the final phase of the program that will take place in March 2011. In this regard, therefore, I would like to pose two questions for your consideration.

Firstly, I would like to hear from all of you what areas you would like included in the final workshop either things that were covered but perhaps not comprehensively enough or an area or topic that was not included but you feel on further reflection requires some training intervention.

Secondly, as you are aware, the approach of the workshop was to ensure that it had a sustainability element included so that you learned skills that could be implemented on your return to your respective countries. My visit will therefore seek to find out what types of projects you have identified to pursue based on the workshop topics and what further support, if any is required. The follow up workshop could therefore have a focus on assisting with the project implementation. I would at this stage, request you to indicate, via the iKNOW politics, the program that you have identified, what action has been taken towards its implementation and what types of constraints have hampered its implementation. The follow up workshop could also address the types of issues that have grappled with or may encounter in implementing your projects.


Kind regards