Fellow Since 1992
Western Cape Provincial Government
This profile was prepared when Lynne Brown was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
The Women's Leadership and Skills Training Project provides leadership development and technical-skills training to women at the grassroots level. Commonly referred to as the Women's College, it seeks to change existing cultural and institutional attitudes about gender relations and women's position in society. It will develop an institutional model of women's leadership training that will potentially reach women throughout the region. More specifically, the project will service the South African women's movement and, by linking different groups, and improve the effectiveness of the disparate women's structures throughout the country.In the face of myriad demands and pressures within the democratic movement that mitigate against a focus on gender issues, the Women's Leadership and Skills Training Project will equip South African women with the necessary skills to influence the agendas of the government and the progressive movement. No institution or opportunity exists in the region (and perhaps on the African continent) to provide training in the critical areas of women's leadership and development. The Women's Leadership and Skills Training Project will decisively strengthen the quality of women's leadership in communities and at the national level.The project offers training to women at the highest levels of electoral politics and to women working at the grassroots level. It provides training to women from the Women's Alliance, a broad structure of all political women's organizations, churchwomen, stokvels (rotating credit and savings groups), trade unions, businesswomen, women working in development, and women organized in rural areas.