The ASEAN Secretariat, in collaboration with UN Women, conducted an Intensive Learning Workshop on Women’s Human Rights (WHR) for the Regional and National Secretariats to ASEAN Human Rights’ Bodies at the Santika Premiere Beach Resort Hotel, Bali, Indonesia, on 18 – 21 March 2013. The workshop was funded under UN Women’s Regional Human Rights Mechanisms Project supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the UN Women core fund. Kalyanamitra, a local Indonesian NGO also assisted in organising the workshop.

The learning workshop aimed for the work and function of Regional and National Secretariats to be more reflective and promoting women’s human rights perspectives and strategies. More specifically, this workshop provided a platform for discussion and update on the latest developments in the international normative frameworks on gender equality and women’s human rights.

The workshop was organised for participants from regional and national secretariats of the AICHR, who are responsible in providing substantive support to the work of AICHR Representatives. The other participants were ASEAN Secretariat staffs, some of whom serve other ASEAN Sectoral Bodies. A total of 29 participants (with 23 female participants and 6 male participants) attended the learning workshop with all countries from the ASEAN Member States represented.

The workshop was further enriched by the presence of the Representative of the Philippines to AICHR, H.E. Rosario G. Manalo, who actively participated in the learning activities and shared her experiences in ASEAN, from before the ASEAN Charter to after AICHR was established. Experts from the region such as Ms. Kamala Chandrakirana, Mr. Albert Bonasahat, Ms. Amarsanaa Darisuren, and Ms. Ratna Osman also shared their knowledge.

The workshop was designed as learning activities in which participants are active learners with assistance from the facilitators, for their individual learning and to help achieve the learning objectives. Consistent with approaches in effective adult education, sessions were conducted in an interactive, participatory, and practical process. Through interactive discussions, group work, self-reflection, and other learning methods, participants were able to achieve the following:

• Deepened understanding of key concepts and perspectives relevant to analysis of women’s situations and laws and legal systems and human rights of women
• Increased skills to apply human rights of women’s concepts and perspectives through the work of ASEAN, AICHR and other ASEAN bodies.
• Identified specific strategies for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights of women though ASEAN, AICHR and other ASEAN bodies.

The facilitators are expert educators from the region and from Australia: Eleanor Conda, Honey Tan and Alison Aggarwal. The learning workshop concluded with closing remarks from H.E Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo and presentation of certificates to participants from the Organisers.