The Asian University for Women
The Women in Public Service Project
Day Eleven: August 15h
The Way Ahead: Developing a Platform for Action
“I urge you to be fearless about the future. Just because something has not been done yet, doesn’t mean it can’t be. I was never deterred from running for president just because there had never been any females elected head of state in Africa. Simply because political leadership in Liberia had always been a ‘boys’ club’ didn’t mean it was right, and I was not deterred. Today, an unprecedented number of women hold leadership positions in our country, and we intend to increase that number.”-President Ellen Sirleaf of Liberia – Commencement Address at Harvard University, 2011
The AUW students will draft an outcomes document that could be taken back to their communities as a way of follow up action to the work of the WPSP Institute. This Platform of Action should identify critical strategies, joint action, collaborative and independent initiatives to mainstream women’s leadership.
Discussion to be moderated by two Student leaders
Some Questions for the Platform of Action The Platform of Action will help guide students to identify key areas for advancing women in public service in your schools, universities, communities and countries. The sample categories set out below are not meant to be prescriptive but are a guide to inform our thinking as we map the way forward on a set of shared goals.
Mentoring Programs for Women Leaders in Public Service, including Peer-to Peer Mentoring Programs
These could include developing innovative initiatives in your school and community. How do we attract younger women to leadership positions? How do we expand opportunities for others; pass on the torch and mentor the next general of leaders.
Developing Pipelines for Women in Public Service and in Non Traditional Areas of Public Service such as Finance, Economy, Energy, and National Security
These could include broadening programs or developing novel programs in your university and community for programs for women in public service.
Developing Crucibles of Leadership in our Communities and Countries
How can we work together with existing programs to mutually strengthen our vision of women leading public service? If no such programs exist in your community or colleges in your university, how can we build incubators to target young women for public service? How
How can the pilot take a life of its own and endure and grow in the region/s?
• How do we ensure sustainability and multiplier impact
• Can the course be replicated and mainstreamed into university or other institutional curricular?
• Share resource list with programs and networks on women in politics and public service around the world. We will first get the commitment of these organizations to share reports, materials, networks and other in-kind resources.
• How to create a platform of action to amplify voices and share ideas and strategies?
• How to coalesce these efforts into a network?
• How to create local to global exchanges? How can this network link to existing networks in the region and around the world?
• How can these existing transnational networks support the nascent network?
• How to combat the accusation that women’s movements are elite or” westernized”/ How to mine the common aspirations that link women which are stronger than the divisions of region, class or politics?
• How can we create a clearing house of information? Can courses on leadership be introduced and mainstreamed into university and/or institutional curricular?
Women in Public Service Networks
• Identify some of the local, national, regional and global networks you belong to and know of and consider ways of expanding the scope and impact of these networks to advance women in public service.
• How would a new network of emerging women leaders forge alliances and strengthen partnerships with existing networks?
• How do we remain connected and link with other existing initiatives?
Clearinghouse of Information
How best would you exchange experiences of women in public service and share best practices and strategies with your peers in other universities and communities?
How can we make sure your story inspires women in your university and community?
Address Unequal Laws and Institutional Barriers How can the network share best practices on law and institutional reform and identify areas for reform and strategies to accelerate reform?
Address Barriers to Public Service: Patriarchy, Gender Bias and Violence What are the efforts to address patriarchal attitudes, gender bias in the family, dual burden of work/family obligations, tribalism, traditional and cultural biases that impede women’s access to public service in your university curriculum? How do we strengthen these steps? How do we implement such steps?
Special Measures for Women in Public Service Can you share strategies to advance women in public service and political leadership in your university and community?
How can these measures be strengthened? What training programs would you like to see developed? What should the areas of focus be?
Political, Social, Economic and Cultural Empowerment
Numerous studies show that women in public service and leadership contribute to women’s political, social and economic empowerment and the development outcomes of the community and country. In turn, women’s economic and social empowerment is often a determinant of women’s political empowerment.
Can you identify some concrete examples of the impact of women in public service and how these impacts can be multiplied between and across borders, locally, nationally, regionally and globally?
How can we stay connected and collaborate on shared goals? Transnational connections and partnerships help us in our journey as women in public service and civic leadership. How do you suggest that we realize this goal as AUW’s inaugural network?
How do we pass on the torch to other emerging women leaders and how do we inspire a new generation of women in public service?
Closing Keynote (video): Honorable Jane Harman- President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Presentation of Certificates
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection….
Rabindranath Tagore: First Asian to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Tagore alsowrote the national anthems of India and Bangladesh and influenced the words and music of the Sri Lankan national anthem