“Young women and political participation: institutional and informal mobilization paving the way to future actions”
Table of Contents
- 1 « Young women and political participation: institutional and informal mobilization paving the way to future actions»
- 2 « Jeunes femmes et participation politique en Tunisie: mobilisation informelle et participation institutionnelle balisant la voie pour des actions futures »
- 3 External links
« Young women and political participation: institutional and informal mobilization paving the way to future actions»
The January 14, 2011 revolution constitutes a historical turning point in Tunisia, particularly with the emergence of youth as vital actors in the political sphere. We witnessed an incredible shift from the disaffection of youth with politics before the revolution to their potential for change, which has become an obvious truth. The situation’s drastic change raises questions about the role that may have been played by young women in the revolutionary process as well as transformations at the level of forms and modalities of their political participation.
The promotion of young women’s political participation in Tunisia appears then to be an action priority during the democratic transition phase. This is the reason why CAWTAR launched a research project called “Young Women and Political Participation in Tunisia: informal mobilization and institutional participation pacing the way for future actions” funded by the Canadian IDRC (International Development Research Center).
The two-year long project is part of a regional initiative including Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan and Ethiopia. Coordination between the four countries has already been established taking in consideration similar political contexts and aims at exchanging results of analyses and interpretations.
This research project has three main objectives that can be summarized as follows:
1. Knowledge : produce and share knowledge about young women’s participation in political life in Tunisia;
2. Participation/Appropriation: Encourage responsibilities and active participation of various stakeholders contributing to the promotion of young women’s political participation in Tunisia;
3. Action: provide strategic inputs for immediate actions targeted towards the future in order to promote participation of young women in Tunisia’s political life.
1/ The Research / knowledge production aspect
Guided by the following components:
- Know the reasons accounting for young women’s active engagement in Tunisia’s political life: analysis of their (i) motivation and (ii) variables including the social, economic, political, family and organizational contexts / institutional allegiances, political assets, third parties’ considerable influence, and education impacting motivation;
- Know how women engage and contribute in political life: analysis of (i) the different forms of participation: formal participation versus informal participation through contribution to event-related protests; (ii) characteristics of young women’s participation in politics compared to men’s participation; (iii) ) characteristics of young women’s participation in politics compared to the participation of more experienced political women; (iv) cultural influences on modalities or strategies of political activism; (v) factors determining sustainability of young women’s engagements with time.
2/ Participation/ appropriation aspect
The project is meant to be participatory, reflecting real participation of actors in the project’s activities in order to reinforce their knowledge about the issue of young women’s participation in politics as well as their commitment towards this subject.
3/ Action aspect
The project will not be limited to the production of knowledge, but aims at reaching beyond, by implementing positive actions increasing young Tunisian women’s political participation. Three actions will be implemented:
- Elaboration of a policy brief: By translating research results into recommendations, this project will go beyond the research’s traditional role to serve as a policy changing tool. The policy brief that will be designed aims at informing decision makers about the situation and at enhancing their knowledge about ways to overcome obstacles hindering young women’s political participation and mechanisms that need to be adopted to favor their participation.
- Organization of Mentorship Workshops: based on the hypothesis that mentoring senior women and men in politics favors involvement in roles, training sessions about coaching will be organized to favor transmission of political know-how between generations.
- Launch of video-contests: Media visibility is identified as a fundamental mechanism in reinforcing political action in general. Women, and primarily young women, prove to be the least favored in this domain. This why we decided to adopt an innovation communication approach creating emulation: Video-contest. The idea is to launch a video contest between politically active women in the form of self-portraits turned by means of amateur video cameras, where young women would speak about their experience in politics and explain their representations and visions about political participation. By uploading these videos on the dedicated website (http://politiqueaufeminin.org), we will offer participants an access to media visibility. On the other hand, the winner will receive 2000 dollars and winning video will be posted on CAWTAR’s web site www.cawtar.org.