The Journey of the Young Women's Ambassadors Programme
In 2019, the seeds of the Young Women's Ambassadors Programme were sown, with the goal of motivating young women across the Asia Pacific Region to engage in decision-making and governance roles. Generous support from the Juseon Byun Leadership Fund, a part of the dedicated Friends of the Asia Pacific Region, fuelled this visionary initiative.
Our overarching aim was to establish an interconnected network of ambassadors across the region, fostering a greater influx of young women into governance positions. These ambassadors joined forces with the Young Women Research team, undertaking the crucial Motion 32 research. This collaborative effort yielded action plans that aimed to elevate governance at all tiers of their respective Member Organisations.
Stepping into the Past: Highlights of Achievement
The year 2019 marked a pivotal moment with the Young Women in Governance event held at the esteemed Girl Scouts of Taiwan Headquarters, right before the Asia Pacific Regional Conference. This two-day event was designed not only to prepare young women for the conference ahead but also to provide insights into the realm of governance. Consequently, attendees of this event proudly earned the title of 'Young Women in Governance Ambassadors.'
The pre-event gathering served as a melting pot of ideas, enabling young women to openly discuss the challenges entrenched within the region. Their discussions birthed two motions that, impressively, secured passage at the Regional Conference. These motions advocated altering how information about leadership opportunities is disseminated and directed the Regional Committee to formulate an actionable plan based on the Motion 32 research. The ultimate goal? Empowering young women to step forward into governance and decision-making positions.
Undeterred by Challenges: A Remarkable Journey
Despite the shadows cast by the pandemic, the initial three-year term of the Young Women's Ambassador programme, which concluded in 2022, witnessed astounding achievements. Battling the odds, the ambassadors facilitated governance training, conducted surveys among Member Organisation members to gather fresh insights, and even instigated changes in the selection processes. These changes aimed to ensure a surge of young women vying for governance roles.
Fast forward to 2022: The Asia Pacific Regional Conference and the Young Women's Pre-Event transitioned seamlessly to the virtual realm. These pre-events continued to draw praise for their role in preparing attendees for the conference's formal proceedings, while also serving as a platform for forging connections.
Aspirations and Ongoing Challenges
Undoubtedly, the desire to see more young women taking up governance roles remains fervent. However, their aspirations transcend mere representation; they seek the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in these roles, steering clear of tokenism. Striving to fulfill this need, ongoing dialogues revolve around providing comprehensive support, resources, and guidance to equip young women for the demands of governance and decision-making.
Charting a Path Forward
In the pursuit of excellence, we acknowledge several challenges that lie ahead. Our forthcoming program strives to tackle these head-on, including clarifying the distinction between organizational governance and day-to-day operations, facilitating the transition from theoretical governance concepts to practical skills, and seamlessly connecting young women with opportunities to flex their governance muscles on national and regional stages.
Intrigued and Inspired?
As we march onward with renewed vigor, we invite you to join us on this transformative journey. The Asia Pacific Young Women in Governance Ambassadors Project continues to evolve, empowering young women to not just embrace leadership roles, but to excel in them, reshaping the future of governance across the region. Stay tuned for more updates and stories of empowerment!