March 2006 – March 2009
The Young Women’s Leadership Programme in Yemen works with young women, ages 22 to 25, to build technical and professional skills for leadership roles in civil society and media. IREX Europe and its network partner IREX, work together with local partner, the Girls World Communication Center in Sana’a, 100 young women have the opportunity to gain essential technical and life skills through training and work-study opportunities. To sustain the impact of the training, small grants are awarded to 20 civil society and media projects developed by the participants. The project is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Global Opportunities Fund.
Many young Yemeni women face significant obstacles to participating in public life, including social pressures to remain in the home, lack of culturally appropriate environments for skills training and poverty. Despite these challenges, women are increasingly taking the lead in the NGO sector, especially in organisations addressing important socio-economic issues related to women, children, and family health. These civic activists are important resources for helping to break down barriers to women’s full participation in Yemeni society. To continue this trend, a new generation of women will need the skills, confidence and support to assume leadership roles.
Additionally, while there are a growing number of women working as journalists in Yemen, women are still not well-represented at media outlets and very few of them are in leadership positions. Promoting the role of women in the media – as reporters and managers – is relevant to ensuring that Yemeni reporting presents a balanced gender perspective, and that woman’s issues are regularly and appropriately covered in the press.
Technical Skills Training: Young women participate in intensive English language, computer skills, and organizational management classes. Participants have the opportunity to choose specialized NGO management or media training tracks.
Leadership Training: An important aspect of the program is training in life skills—decision making, goal setting, self-confidence building, and negotiation—to reduce women’s isolation and teach them to make choices for themselves or in a group dynamic.
Study Tours and Site Visits: Trainees participate in study tours to NGO projects sites, media outlets, and donor offices to learn through observation and interaction with staff.
Work-Study Program: Young women work as volunteer interns at NGOs and media outlets for four to six weeks, honing their skills and gaining exposure to the work environment.
Small Grants: All participants have the opportunity to design proposals for civil society and media projects, of which 20 will receive program funding.
Newsletter: Students produce a newsletter to serve as an informational and networking resource as well as a practical skill-building tool.
Other IREX Europe projects in Yemen:
Yemen : Camera as Voice