As part of the project ”Leadership is for EveryOne”, our team has worked hard to implement two local workshops. These workshops were held in Tuzla and Sarajevo and they were aimed at young people.
The LEO workshop in Tuzla was held on the 10th of December and it gathered 19 young people ages 16-25. Participants were divided into 3 groups where they discussed the biggest problems that arise from gender inequality and obstacles in our society. After discussing it for a certain period of time, groups presented their work and further explained the traits of a leader and named the world’s biggest female leaders of our generation. The facilitator then emphasized that leadership comes in various shapes and forms and that leadership qualities can be found all around us.
After successfully implementing a local workshop in tuzla next on the map was Sarajevo. The LEO workshop was held on the 19th of December in the Foundation ”Source of Hope”. This local workshop gathered 24 young people who were eager to expand their knowledge on the topic of gender equality and leadership. Participants were divided into 4 groups where they discussed the biggest problems that arise from gender inequality and obstacles in our society. After discussing it for a certain period of time, groups presented their work and further explained the traits of a leader and named the world’s biggest female leaders of our generation. The facilitator then emphasized that leadership comes in various shapes and forms and that leadership qualities can be found all around us. Each group was given a topic to do some research on and present it and discuss it with the facilitators and other groups. Those topics included:
- Women in football (misconceptions, stereotypes…)
- Firing women from their job due to pregnancy
- „Don’t cry like a little girl“ – Inhibition of men’s emotions and stereotyping emotional behavior to women/girls
- Preventing women from accessing education
Both workshops were implemented successfully and they have left a great impact on participants. The satisfaction of participants was evident in the passion they showed during the workshop, as well as their expressed willingness to participate in future activities.
We are really happy and thankful to every person that took part in these workshops and brought something new to the table. The participants showed that leadership is really for everyone and that everyone can be a leader if they acquire specific knowledge and skills.
What is LEO?
The project aims at enhancing women’s leadership, developing NFE resources for youth workers and young people, promoting men’s involvement in women’s empowerment, and strengthening the synergies between youth work and the labour market.
Identifying young women’s challenges in becoming leaders in partner countries and understanding how to address them during the first five months of the first year (research and gender assessment).
Women’s empowerment is a prerequisite for gender equality, according to the CoE Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023. Even when girls demonstrate leadership abilities or hold positions of power, the world fails to make them feel good because the mind model that we have is gendered “male.” As a result, when girls adopt such a model, claiming that leaders are bold and make difficult decisions, they may experience cognitive dissonance (A. Sinclair, 2007). Men outnumber women in leadership positions in every sector
of the world, including business, nonprofits, government, education, medicine, the military, and religion (Andrews, 2021).
An extensive body of research claims that men can benefit from greater gender equality in that the pressure of being the primary breadwinner of the household is relieved, and they can develop healthier relationships with their wives and children. This view is particularly true in developing countries, where women have limited freedom and autodetermination (Connell, 2013 in Sweetman, 2013).
Furthermore, research suggests that the most efficient social group to educate about women leadership and gender equality is the youth. It is critical to engage younger men in this process, especially for future generations of female entrepreneurs and business owners (IMAGES, 2010).
Given the urgency of achieving gender equity, which encompasses promoting women leadership and including men in the process, the capacity building project LEO – Leadership is for Everyone was created.
The project aims at enhancing women’s leadership, developing NFE resources for youth workers and young people, promoting men’s involvement in women’s empowerment, and strengthening the synergies between youth work and the labour market. This aim will be achieved through the following objectives:
- Identifying young women’s challenges in becoming leaders in partner countries and understanding how to address them during the first five months of the first year (research and gender assessment).
- By the end of the first year, we aim at having increased men’s involvement in the process of women’s empowerment and identified 20 (5 per partner country)positive masculinity figures to support the project and challenge traditional sexist stereotypes in their communities (gender assessment, training and e-courses).
- To improve the qualifications and competencies of 5 youth workers in each partner country by the end of the first year in order to better support women’s leadership (e-courses and training).
- To make it easier for 20 women from each partner country to enter the labor force by August 2023. (internship programme, job shadowing, training and e-courses).
- By the end of the second year, partner countries should have a better understanding of young women’s leadership and gender equality (3 local events, 1 career fair, e-courses, mediatic dissemination).
Furthermore, the project addresses many of the general call’s objectives:
- raising the capacity of organizations working with young people outside formal learning: partner organisations will improve their knowledge and competencies to advance women’s leadership.
- promote non-formal learning activities in Partner countries, especially targeting young people with fewer opportunities, with a view to improving the level of competences while ensuring the active participation of young people in society: the project mainly targets young women who, because of their gender and fewer opportunities, struggle to enter the marketplace.
- support the development of youth work in Partner countries, improving its quality and recognition: six youth workers from each partner country will be trained to support women’s leadership and advance their learnings to achieve a major impact in the field of youth work.
- foster cooperation across different regions of the world through joint initiatives of four countries (Italy, Lithuania, Albania, and Bosnia Herzegovina) with different cultures and gender issues.
- enhance synergies and complementarities with formal education systems and/or the labour market: the ultimate goal of the project is to promote women’s leadership and facilitate their access to the labour market.