Over seventy women politicians, representatives from political parties in Macedonia attended training in March where they had the opportunity to learn and practice campaigning skills. Participants worked on communication, messaging and working with media, to help them increase understanding and confidence in communicating with the electorate.
During the training potential candidates worked hands-on with leading journalists and media specialists from Macedonia which gave them an opportunity to work together in simulations, giving close experience of real life situations and with the added value of joint work to help them build cross party networks.
Our ambassador Charles Garrett was among the key note speakers at the opening of the training. In his remarks he said:
It is important to have women in politics as we benefit from diversity and inclusivity in policy development and policy making. It is commendable that the amendments to the Macedonian Electoral Code demand that 40% of the candidates for MPs should be women. Women’s participation in politics is not just a number. It should not be a quota system that we will follow. We need committed efforts, continual work to build capacities. We need to encourage women. Moreover we need to make the environment for them to take part in shaping their societies. That will allow us not just to debate about the percentage of gender representation, but about the quality of the candidates, who will be responsible for the political reforms needed for the future development of Macedonia, for hearings in Parliament, for voting legislation and leading consultation processes on policies that need to be developed and decisions to be made.
The programme on increasing women’s participation in politics is run with the support of British, Dutch and French embassies in Skopje and USAID Macedonia. The office of the National Democratic Institute in Macedonia is implementing the programme as part of their work in Macedonia.
British Embassy Skopje runs a range of programme assistance in Macedonia providing support in several reform areas with judiciary, human rights, democracy, media and civil society.
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