LAST week, 19 emerging young women leaders completed the YWCA's Rise Up! Leadership Program, which ran from the 29th June – 2nd July at the EU Non State Actor's Building in China Town. The workshop was the first of many to be run on a regular basis by the Solomon Islands YWCA with the aim of building the capacity of young Solomon Islands women to create positive social change in their communities.
Participants were chosen through a competitive selection process, with over 50 applications received.
Overall, the selection panel was impressed by the number of young women who demonstrated a clear vision for creating healthy and safe communities.
On the first day of the training, the young women learnt about the history of human rights and the development of women's rights legislation, including the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
On the second day participants discussed how gender expectations influenced women's choices and opportunities, they also learnt tips public speaking and participated in individual or group public speaking exercises.
On Day three, young women discussed the qualities of good leaders, and had a chance to find their own unique leadership style.
Participants also heard from three prominent women who shared their personal experiences of leadership.
On the final day of the workshop the participants learnt about strategies for turning knowledge into action and creating positive change in their own lives and communities.
All workshop sessions included a variety of creative and interesting teaching methods, including drama, art, videos, guest speakers and games.
The workshop was received positively by the young participants, with comments including “this workshop has taught me a lot about leadership and I have learnt skills that will help me achieve my future goals”.
The Solomon Islands YWCA plan to run another Rise Up! workshop in Honiara in the coming months and hope to expand the program to provincial areas in the near future.