06 Feb, 2023

Alliance Of Her alumnae share their stories

The Alliance of Her (AOH) has accumulated more than 200 alumnae over the years, with women from across Europe. As our Academy kicks off its eighth year in 2023, we look back on the testimonies of alumnae to see how the AOH Academy has empowered them to achieve their goals. 

Ruzanna Avagimyan from Bright Armenia expressed how the Academy provided her with a support system: 

The staff of the programme was also perfect and so warm. Beside the professional part, the best thing that I acquired from the program was friends and network. 

Member of the AOH Alumnae Advisory Board Joanna Burnos talked about how the Academy provided her with examples of female leadership to learn from and look up to: 

“The greatest advantage of the programme is the permanent opportunity for exchanging experiences and sharing different perspectives with female political leaders from across Europe. It is a fantastic and unique feeling to be able to follow all these wonderful success stories of women leaders across Europe.” 

Laura Hidalgo from Young MR in Belgium explained why she wanted to get involved in politics and gave some advice:  

What motivated me to get into politics was that I wanted to be a committee woman when I [entered] university. I wanted to get involved in the European Union project. I did not hesitate and here I am today, President of the Young MR! My advice? Never wait! 

Enisa Kifer from GLAS Party in Croatia explained why women’s leadership is more important than ever and how the Academy plays an important role empowering female leaders: 

Women's voices are vital for creating a new playing field in the world of leadership. We still live in a time where there is only one woman in a room full of powerful men. In order to succeed or even have a slightest chance of moving forward, you need to have a support system of people who believe in you and have specific skills that will be your foundation to become women in a position to influence and survive in politics. The AOH is a community of strong, dedicated women that create a chain of support to one another. 

Mirela Trepanić-Grbešić from Naša Stranka in Bosnia and Herzegovina spoke on her motivation to enter politics: 

I’ve entered politics so that my son never experiences the war, and he can be part of a new generation of our citizens, the generation who stays. I’ve done so to change things so my two brothers, my best friend, my neighbour, and many of our citizens who are living in countries of the EU one day come back home to live in an ordered system, a system ruled by the law. 

Fana Vahideh from Keskusta Party in Finland shared what the Academy meant to her and her personal struggle to get there: 

The patriarchal culture followed me from Afghanistan to Europe and prevented me from using the facilities offered by Finland. The AOH Academy has been a great opportunity to meet people who have the same values and goals as me. During the training, I experienced a sense of belonging that I have never experienced in my life. My husband threatened to divorce me if I participated in this class. I participated because I did not want a love that would take away my freedom. 

The Alliance Of Her Academy benefits from generous support of our partners, including the European Parliament. As such, all participants must meet strict eligibility criteria, in addition to demonstrating clear leadership talent and ambition. Participants are also informed of the prohibition to run in an election campaign during the academy or up to 12 months after the termination of the program. If this condition is not respected, participants will be required to cover costs independently or with a ‘substantial’ contribution from their political party.   

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