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Training project to hone skills of women candidates for Parliament

By Laila Azzeh - Mar 28,2016 - Last updated at Mar 28,2016

AMMAN — Women wishing to run in the coming parliamentary elections will have a chance to engage in a comprehensive training package that targets their legal awareness, skills and knowledge. 

Under the “Enhancing the Participation of Jordanian Women in the Upcoming Elections” project, women planning to run for the polls will be trained on a wide range of topics related to communications and leadership, planning election campaigns, using social media and the Elections Law. 

The programme, to target women from across the governorates, will be implemented by the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the organisers said on Monday. 

While acknowledging that getting women into the Lower House will be “no easy task” in the coming elections, especially that eligible voters have to vote for a multi-member list as a whole and for an individual candidate of their choice from the same ticket. 

“It is true that we did not succeed in pushing for increasing women’s quota under the Dome, but now we have to make the best of what we got,” said JNCW Secretary General Salma Nims.

During a ceremony to mark the launch of the programme, participants acknowledged the discriminatory mindsets women who run for elections face.

“I received chaotic and sceptic responses when I asked why women cannot run for parliamentary elections in my region. The critics made me more determined to run in the coming elections,” said Huda Batayneh from Irbid. 

Nims highlighted that the programme in question is part of the JNCW’s 2013-2017 strategy to raise the ratio of women’s participation in senior government position and support them in parliamentary elections to change negative perceptions. 

The programme is also implemented through cooperation between the NDI and the National Coalition for Supporting Women in Elections, with the support of the USAID.  

Bushra Abu Shahout, director of the NDI project for enhancing women’s political participation, presented a briefing on the methodology of the training programme, with the first phase focusing on leadership skills, the second on legal awareness and the third on managing electoral campaigns. 

 

“The training will be conducted by a number of experts representing civil society organisations concerned in elections and women’s political participation,” she said, adding that the programme will also include a series of meetings with university students and young people in all governorates with the participation of women candidates to encourage youths to vote for them.

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