In partnership with KAWACC & Saathi House, the Step Up To Democracy project worked to develop the political leadership capacity of women, to create a generation capable of delivering future change. The project helped to empower women who have political interest with the skills and experience to learn, lead, decide and thrive as local leaders and contribute to closing the gender gap in the realm of political leadership.
Throughout 2018 we ran events focusing on increasing awareness of the suffrage movement amongst Muslim women in the Bradford district; they also learnt ways they can participate in civic life. The events were women led events, where local women could understand and discuss the suffrage movement; and access information, advice and guidance.
These events allowed women to safely talk, challenge and debate about the barriers they face regarding their right to vote, helping women celebrate and become inspired by 100 years of women’s suffrage.
The events included:
• History of the Suffrage Movement; a visual presentation with talks from individuals involved in politics and history; and how it links to the experiences of and issues faced by Muslim women from their own community and society.
• My Life in Politics; local female MPs and Councillors were invited to share their experiences of politics, including why they got into politics and what it entails to be a MP/Councillor.
• Practical Information and Insights; advice and guidance on how to register to vote, the importance of voting, how to be more involved in the democratic process and civic life, and the impact it has.
• Local Tour; taking the women on a heritage walking tour to visit local suffrage landmarks, Town Hall and Council House to better understand the significance of the institutions and making the suffrage movement ‘real’ for the participants.
We also ran workshops to help local women become more actively involved in the British election system & civic life, on aspects such as:
• Confidence building
• Personal development
• CV/Interview techniques
• Raising aspirations
• Leadership skills
• The role of women in politics
• Effective use of social media
• Media training at a local radio station
At the end of the training we attended a celebratory event hosted by Saathi House in Birmingham, gathering all the groups together to celebrate participants’ achievements and discuss learning from the project.