The second workshop of the Young Verified Leaders (YVL) project took place on February 4th 2022 and brought together more than 30 young leaders in addition to the four project coordination teams for a two-hour and a half virtual exchange session. This time, the workshop was entirely designed, planned and moderated by the Tunisian team of We Love Sousse.
Preparations had already started in Sousse during the professional exchange between the four YVL project organizations. Ghada, Farah, Yasmine and Samra, four active members from We Love Sousse organization, had shared with Adeline their interest in gender and feminist issues. The workshop aimed at raising awareness about the importance of leadership in connection to women’s rights issues. The workshop also intended to exchange ideas and suggest concrete actions for a more inclusive leadership.
The two-hour workshop focused on the following themes:
- Questioning preconceived opinions and the patriarchal heritage: What do women need in order to consolidate their professional responsibilities and private life?
- Structural factors and indicators that marginalize women
- The different types of leadership: from “Laissez-faire” Leadership to “Coach” Leadership or “Paternal/Maternal” Leadership: Are there any qualities/styles of leadership that are typically feminine?
- Presentations of emblematic women embodying, each in her own way, female leadership in the field of science and culture. Najla Bouden, Sabra Zaraa or Lina Ben M’henni were some of the examples mentioned.
One of the highlights of the workshop was a quiz featuring Tunisian, Algerian and German women leaders. This was an opportunity to highlight some limits and contradictions: Female leadership can only be considered in correlation with other essential interpersonal and social qualities. For example, it is not because a woman has access to positions of responsibility that she will manage her team well. Considering the issue of female leadership is certainly essential but must undeniably correlate with other skills to be effective. This goes hand in hand with what participants were previously discussing: “They are as many types of leaders as they are human beings”.
The workshop ended with a special guest from Tunisia: Ms. Hind Houas works as a “Project Management specialist”/ Democracy Rights and Governance at USAID. This is the United States Agency for International Development. This agency of the United States government is responsible for economic development and humanitarian assistance in the world. After presenting her vision of a more feminine, inclusive leadership, Hind Houas answered questions from participants who were very curious to learn more about her background.
The objective of the online workshops is not only to transmit specific knowledge related to leadership issues but also for members to take full responsibility for the workshop. Initial contact, regular exchange of information, coordination and design of topics as well as moderation are all part of a successful session.