Day: December 19, 2022

For women and with women!

Amasra municipality in Turkey is clearly making a statement for gender equality. – We don’t accept any discrimination or violence against women in our city says, Recai Çakır, the Mayor of Amasra.

The mayor himself, the vice mayor Meltem Öz, Birgül Çay, and Ayşe Kaşıkırık from an NGO, constitute the team of Amasra in ICLD’s programme Human Rights Based Approach. The team has chosen to implement gender-responsive budgeting in Amasra municipality as a strategic instrument for achieving a more gender-equal and inclusive local administration for all, especially for vulnerable groups. The objective is that a gender perspective should systematically be included in all steps of the budget process to ensure that the municipality’s resources can be distributed to promote gender equality.   

The mayor of the small port town situated next to the Black sea, Recai Çakır, has one daughter, and he wants her to live in a society where women have the same rights and possibilities as men.

– Our municipality strives to have more women in leading positions. At the moment, five out of nine department leaders are women, he says.

Also, Amasra municipality signed the European Charter for the equality of women and men in local life on 25 November 2022. The signing ceremony was attended by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Municipality staff, representatives of the Municipality Council, and civil society.

Recai Çakır, the Mayor of Amasra, together with ICLD programme officer Jim Enström. Photo: Maria Jansson

The ICLD project

Some of the activities that Team Amasra will conduct within the scope of their project are to enhance awareness and knowledge about gender-responsive budgeting among high-level managers, conduct workshops on gender-responsive planning and budgeting to the municipality staff, provide managers and staff with gender statistics and analysis’s, make the gender-responsive approach more transparent on the municipality website, create structures for the exchange of experience on gender budgeting and actively promote the dissemination of relevant resources, tools, and lessons on gender budgeting to other municipalities.

Read more about ICLD’s programme “Human Rights Based Approach”.

Concluding the Zimbabwe Leadership Programme

After five cohorts and eight years in the country, the ICLD programme “Capacitating Local Leaders in Zimbabwe” has come to an end and all activites have now been completed. The overall objective of the programme has been to strengthen the leadership and networks of local politicians and local authorities throughout Zimbabwe.

The programme, funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Harare, has been conducted since 2014 by ICLD in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Gender Links, and Midlands State University whose contribution, support and guidance to the ICLD staff were determining its success.

130 leaders from almost all 92 local authorities

Eight years of the programme have resulted in important achievements both within the development of the programme and on the ground in Zimbabwe. It has completed five cohorts where more than 130 male and female leaders from almost all 92 local authorities in Zimbabwe have improved their leadership abilities through knowledge, experience, cooperation and action.

The overall objective of the programme has been to strengthen the leadership and networks of local politicians and local authorities throughout the country. The Sustainable Development Goals have been at the core of the training and the focus has been set on raising knowledge and awareness about them, especially regarding gender-related issues.

The final workshop

Between 29 November and 1 December 2022, the ICLD staff went to Harare for the final workshop where the participants of the last cohort presented the results of their change projects as well as took part in peer-teaching workshops and study visits about strengthening the impact and securing sustainability of their project results.

Participants of the programme have formed teams consisting of one Senior Council Official and one elected Councilor and worked together on their leadership skills while developing a community project related to the Sustainable Development Goals. They now have the potential to act as advocates and role models for other men and women who may consider making a career in politics. The programme has also sought to foster institutional change through capacity building and individual learning in several areas relevant to local development with the premise of participation and inclusiveness – leaving no one behind. This will make an impact on local democracy and human rights in the future.

“I was exposed to reviewing my own qualities as a strategic issue to improve my leadership style. Then this leadership style translated into my organisation. It was interesting that it made me a better leader, it made me a better officer to lead the efforts of others and to accomplish our goals. This is spilt over to society. Where the same culture that we inculcated within the council is cascaded down to the broader society. Trust me, it has brought unity and a purpose. We now know where we are coming from and where we are going!”

Siqubumthetho Dube, Bubi Rural District Council
Certificate ceremony for the participants with the Ambassador of Sweden in Harare. Photo: Emma Herlitz