Global Resources

Leading to Action: A Political Participation Handbook for Women

Author: M. Afkhami, A. Eisenberg
Publication Date: Jan 2010

Women’s political participation is a critical step towards reshaping economic, political, and social conditions to allow for equality in opportunities and results for both women and men. This handbook is a learning tool for women who wish to play a more significant political role in their communities. Whether the goal is to be elected to office, support a campaign, encourage women to vote, or secure better legislation for the community, this handbook helps women hone their skills to take the next political step.


This handbook includes scenarios that give real life examples of the successes and challenges women face in the political sphere, and is structured to be easily modified and used in a workshop setting. The sessions presented are guidelines that are adaptable to the different contexts and communities in which they are used. For instance, the biographies of influential people and stories about successful campaigns are only illustrative starting points for discussion, and can be substituted with biographies and stories more relevant or familiar in each setting.


The political participation strategies emphasise communicating, listening, building consensus, creating shared meaning, and developing learning partnerships. These techniques create democratic, inclusive processes, and political participation strategies that are ethical in their means as well as their ends. Just as there is no one path to political activism, there is no single approach to learning political participation skills.


In addition to the political participation strategies contained in this publication, the learning process is itself intended to empower workshop facilitators and participants. The appendices include a glossary of terms, extra sessions, and relevant United Nations conventions that support women’s civil and political rights.

[adapted from source]