Strasbourg (F), 1st September 2011
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) has established close ties with Tunisia since the events that took place in the beginning of the year and strongly supports the challenge the country has set itself in instituting the principle of gender parity for the next election of a constituent Assembly on 23rd October. As gender equality has constituted a pillars of AER’s action for several years, Mrs Michèle Sabban, AER President, has joined forces with Mrs Lilia Labidi, Tunisian Minister of Women’s Affairs, to offer AER’s experience to the Tunisian authorities. Together, they have decided to organise a training seminar for Tunisian female candidates.
In order to ensure that the principle of gender parity is fully respected in practice, this seminar aims to help Tunisian women fully and actively engage in the election campaigns and allow for them to share their experiences with their European counterparts, as several elected representatives of European regions will accompany Mrs. Michèle Sabban on this visit. Around 60 participants are expected to take part in the seminars held in Tunis on the 15th and 16th September, among which are renowned Tunisian militants Sihem Ben Sedrine and Radhia Nasraoui.
The programme in detail:
Getting started and getting engaged: the principle of gender equality put to the test of political engagement – What exactly does ‘gender parity’ mean? How do you become a candidate? How do you develop a support base and networks? What is the procedure to follow?
Confronting difficulties: overcoming resistance to change – Once you are an official candidate, you must then make sure you are a credible candidate with a real chance of winning.. How to earn a place within the constituency? How to set up a campaign and communicate with electors? What challenges should you expect and how to overcome them?
Engaging in public life as a woman: volunteering, NGOs and human rights, citizenship – Becoming an elected representative is not the only way to contribute to social and political life. This session will explore the obligations and opportunities deriving from the concept of citizenship and the ways in which women can contribute to associations such as NGOs.
Through this targeted training, AER hopes to contribute to increasing Tunisian women’s engagement in politics, but also to incite electors to seize the symbol of democracy that is the right to vote.
For more information: [email protected]