2.5. Selection of Partner Organizations

There is currently a large spectrum of organizations which represent the interests of women in many countries. On the governmental level, departments have been set up to attain equality for women and promotion of women, in many cases to fulfill the political objectives of donors. In many countries, women are now much more visible in parliaments and political parties. Mainly as a result of quotas, a large number of politically-motivated women's NGO's have come into being, offering a wide variety of dialogue partners for women-oriented projects.
The effective implementation of womens' promotions programs depends upon the acceptance and readiness of national project-partners in the selected countries. Sustainable promotion of women cannot be attained without an adequate sensitization of project partners. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation can simultaneously gain trust though its constant support for national programs to eliminate discrimination and by placing a strong emphasis on womens' promotion in all its project activities.
Every prospective partner organization should be evaluated as to its commitment to promotion of women - this also applies to women's organizations. Important offices in governmental or quasi-governmental organizations are often held by women from the ruling faction, who may not represent the interests of the majority of women.
Long-term project partners should also be reevaluated with regard to their attitudes towards womens' promotion and their acceptance of measures designed to better integrate women. Their (formal) acceptance can be demonstrated by the existence of such measures as an office responsible for the equality of women, or quotas. If need be, workshops to help raise "gender awareness" should be held.
The seriousness with which organizations pursue promotion of women should also be measured when selecting new project partners, specifically whether the advancement of women is an actual aspiration or has only been added to the statutes for cosmetic reasons. Organization which have experience in the field and which demonstrate readiness to take on new issues and challenges are the most promising partners for effective cooperation. In many countries, working together with a prospective partner on one single aspect is the best way to gather additional information about its commitment towards gender equality.
Cooperation with women in certain profession, such as law or journalism, can also be important, as they are important lobbyists and multipliers.

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