Over the course of three days, 30 young women from Tbilisi and other parts of Georgia – as well from neighbouring Azerbaijan – gained insight into creative campaign planning and implementation, as well as presentation skills.

Academy participants were welcomed on the first day by Baia Pataraia (HRHT Board Chairperson and Director of Sapari) and Ketevan Abashidze (Human Rights House Foundation). They encouraged and emphasised the importance of women in leadership roles and as human rights defenders, and underlined the unique challenges faced by women defenders around the world.

The academy began with a two-day training session on creative campaign planning, in which business-sector professionals shared their experience and presented marketing tactics and strategies. Participants gained an insight into the most popular social media platforms in Georgia and how to use them for marketing. Practical exercises concluded the training with participants developing and presenting their own projects.

The final day focused on presentation skills, with participants learning how to better present their ideas and what they should consider during public speeches.

Ana Dolidze, a prominent lawyer and human rights defender, shared her experience as a female leader and gave tips for public speaking.

Nino Danelia, a professor at Ilia State University, led a session examining the characteristics of good presentation, and in which participants discussed practical examples by planning five mock presentations on women empowerment, LGBTQI+ issues, women’s rights in Georgia and Azerbaijan, movie screenings to raise awareness of rights, and bullying in schools.

Participants of the National Leadership Academy in March 2019.
Participants of the National Leadership Academy in March 2019.

Based on their motivation, initiative, and commitment, a few participants will be selected to attend the Regional Leadership Academy organised in Ukraine. The Regional Leadership Academy will be a great opportunity for young women human rights defenders from five Eurasian countries to share ideas and best practices with their peers.  Several participants will also be eligible to get funding for their projects.

The first Leadership Academy was held in September 2018 and consisted of training sessions about gender equality, promoting equality within the workplace, advocacy, and media and creative campaign planning.

The National Leadership Academy is a part of the project “Promoting New Women Leaders and ‘Invisible Women’ Human Rights Activists” implemented by IREX Europe, a French-based NGO, in partnership with HRH Tbilisi. This 26-month project covers five countries of Eurasia with the support of the European Commission. The leadership academy in Georgia is co-funded by Human Rights House Foundation.