Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Women's empowerment through virtual training

30 April 2020


Life continues during the lockdown to guard against the pandemic and, never more so than in Pakistan, where an innovative and stimulating webinar on political inclusion has just been delivered.


The virtual session on Women’s Leadership skills which took place today, was ‘attended’ by around 15 members of the Women Development Committee and staff. Organised by the Local Councils Association of Punjab (LCAP), it was delivered by Ms Maham Ahmad, the new Women and Minority Inclusion Officer for this project. Almost all members of the Women Development Committee took part in the session, together with Mr Noor Akbar, CLGF’s Project Officer for this initiative.


Leadership qualities

Before starting the session, the councillors shared information about their work and how they had helped people in need during the pandemic. The training looked at the first step to women’s empowerment - leadership; highlighting the competencies, styles, values, skills and qualities required; the need to adapt leadership styles according to each situation; and the importance of having women leaders and the particular challenges they face.


At the end of the session, a decision was made to expand the Women Development Committee in the Punjab at provincial level. It was recommended that one member from each of the 36 districts be selected on the basis of the skills and qualities discussed in the session. 


Mr Akbar said: “It was a very successful event, demonstrating that technology can create a viable alternative to events in person. I was impressed by how well it worked, with Zoom being a relatively new tool in Pakistan." He continued: "There was a high level of commitment and enthusiasm amongst the participants and we look forward to replicating the event for other members of the Women Development Committee, together with more such events, led by our new inclusions officer.”


Minority and marginalised groups

This is part of a long-term project funded by the EU and seeking to strengthen the capacity of the local government associations. Originally running from January 2017 and due to end in January of this year, the project which is being managed by CLGF and LCAP, has been extended until December 2020, allowing for this important work on women’s empowerment – and working with other minority and marginalised groups - to take place.


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