Posts tagged ‘democracy’

Kenya ranked top globally in gender equality reforms @WorldBank #hwhtw

Bravo to Kenya!

Kenya ranked top globally in gender equality reforms

By GEOFFREY IRUNGU

Posted  Tuesday, October 11  2011 at  21:55

Increased access by women to justice, property rights and top jobs has seen Kenya emerge as the leading reformer globally in a report released by the World Bank on Tuesday.

The report says women in Kenya were greatly empowered by the new Constitution as well as other legal reforms that have been taking place in recent years.

“Kenya has achieved a lot in gender parity because of the new Constitution which is now being studied by many countries in the world that want to carry out reforms,” said David Bridgman, regional manager for Investment Climate Advisory services in Africa at the World Bank.

Read the full article: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/Kenya+ranked+top+globally+in+gender+equality+reforms+/-/539550/1253960/-/le10o3z/-/

October 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Gayle Lemmon: “Looming Threat to Afghan Women’s Rights” @gaylelemmon #hwhtw

gayle lemmon photoIn this brand-new CFR Expert Brief, Gayle Lemmon looks at the peace process in Afghanistan, and what the future may hold for Afghan women:

“The question remains as to whether Afghan women will play a substantive role in a nascent reconciliation process, which is now floundering after the murder of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani. If not, there is a looming fear that women’s rights will be negotiated away in the quest to end the war. U.S. officials working on the peace process say that the White House wants to be able to point to concrete achievements in Afghanistan in the run-up to the 2012 elections, while still being able to declare the war’s end.”

Read the full article: http://www.cfr.org/afghanistan/looming-threat-afghan-womens-rights/p26124?cid=nlc-dailybrief-daily_news_brief-link8-20111007

October 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

“SIERRA LEONE: Women moving forward in politics” @irinnews #hwhtw

SIERRA LEONE: Women moving forward in politics

DAKAR, 8 August 2011 (IRIN) – When Marie Jalloh first ran for office in 2007, resistance to women in politics in Sierra Leone was so strong she faced harassment and intimidation from local authorities. Now, not only is she a member of parliament; she and other women, along with local NGOs, have brought the country closer to a legal quota for women in decision-making posts.

Campaigners say more women in power would go a long way to improving people’s living conditions and fostering development…

Read the full article: http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=93448

August 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

“Women more likely to recruit other women for political office” @iknow_politics #hwhtw

Women more likely to recruit other women for political office

The gender composition of those responsible for candidate recruitment plays a crucial role in either encouraging or discouraging women candidates to run for office, according to a recent study in Political Research Quarterly (PRQ) published by SAGE on behalf of the Western Political Science Association.

“Researchers Christine Cheng and Margit Tavits looked at “party gatekeepers” (local party presidents) from the five major political parties in the 2004 and 2006 Canadian national elections. Unlike the US, the nomination of party candidates for the Canadian Parliament is solely the prerogative of the local party associations, and local presidents are in a position to both formally and informally influence the nomination of candidates. The research found an important relationship between the gender of party gatekeepers and who ultimately is nominated to run for office.”

Read the press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-08/sp-wml080511.php

Read the full article: http://prq.sagepub.com/content/64/2/460.full.pdf+html

August 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

#DTDW Melanne Verveer: “Progress for women and progress for democracy go hand in hand”

Ambassador Verveer’s speech at the Democracy that Delivers for Women Conference has been posted online.  Some highlights:

“Progress for women and progress for democracy go hand in hand.”

“Democracy without women is a contradiction in terms.”

Quoting an article in Foreign Policy: “The economic history of the last 50 years has been the entrance of the female half of the population into the workplace. Women started working out of necessity; they stayed when jobs became careers. They were hired in a hunt for diversity and kept because of their talent. The result has been a world-changing revolution. Today, women are not just good for the bottom line: they’re fundamental to bringing nations out of poverty and they just might be the future of work.”

Read the full speech: http://www.state.gov/s/gwi/rls/rem/2011/167142.htm

July 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

#DTDW: Highlights, Part 1

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Democracy that Delivers for Women Conference:

David Chavern: “Business is the answer, not the problem.”

David Chavern: “Countries that treat women badly, do badly.”

Gayle Lemmon: “Women make sure there’s a community to go back to when the war is over.”

Gayle Lemmon: “In tough parts of the world, women turn to business to make sure their children get fed.”

Gayle Lemmon: “Unsung heroines and aspiring entrepreneurs are all around us.”

Mary Schnack: “Women don’t need to be sitting on a dirt floor to need help growing their businesses.”

Mary Schnack: “We need to help women recognize themselves as leaders and be honored as leaders”

Gayle Lemmon: “Afghan women are desperate for peace, but afraid it will come at the price of their right to go to work and school.”

More to come!

June 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

#DTDW: Mentorship and Skill-Building for Effective Women’s Advocacy

More from the Democracy That Delivers for Women Conference:

The panel on “The Role of Women in Democratic Reform” emphasized the importance of mentoring and sharing knowledge for giving women a voice in the political process. 

Shari Bryan of the National Democratic Institute noted the success of the “IKnowPolitics” website: mentors and peers share advice and best practices to help other women run for office – and win.

Michelle Bekkering of the International Republican Institute cited a World Bank study that found that an 8% increase in women in a country’s national parliament corresponded with a 20% drop in corruption, but noted that women activists often complain that women at the top (Presidents and Prime Ministers) “aren’t working to bring other women up the ladder.”

Nancy Mills of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity said that economic and political advocacy are linked: women gain skills in economic advocacy that allow them to move into political advocacy.

June 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment

#DTDW: Power Lunch

I’m such a conference geek – I’m glowing with delight over the amazing, enlightening lunch I just had with Ambassador Steve Steiner, conference panelist Kathleen Kuehnast of USIP, USAID human trafficking expert Katherine Blakeslee, and development maven Patty Marcus, just back from Iraq.

June 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

#DTDW: “We need to think beyond microenterprise”

More from the Democracy that Delivers for Women Conference:

This morning’s panel featured three women with expertise in women’s entrepreneurship efforts, and all of them echoed the same sentiment: For women to move forward, the focus must move from microenterprise to mainstream small and medium businesses – and beyond. 

Selima Ahmad, President and Founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, offered a provocative question: “We need to give deep thought to micro entrepreneurs – are they part of the mainstream economy?”  She added, “We need to think beyond microenterprise.”

Mary Schnack of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) agreed: “Women don’t need to be sitting on a dirt floor to need help growing their businesses.”  Women who are already running businesses need additional skills to scale up, she noted.

Gayle Lemmon, author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khanna, identified access to markets and financing as the biggest obstacle to growing women’s businesses.  She noted that in countries where women cannot legally own property, they cannot get financing because they cannot offer collateral.

June 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Under Sec. Otero on Human Rights in the Obama Administration

In a recent speech at American University, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero emphasized the importance of gender equality in the Obama Administration’s human rights policy:

“Our support of civil society in its pursuit of human rights also means elevating our commitment to marginalized and disenfranchised groups, including women, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

“For example, despite bearing the brunt of society’s political and economic challenges, women across the Americas’ continue to drive democratic change and social equality. I have met with women leaders in Brazil who are fighting the scourge of human trafficking. Women in Honduras are raising their voices in the name of freedom of speech, and protecting the place of human rights defenders in society. In Colombia, women are defending the rights of the 3 million internally displaced people. And in Cuba, the Damas de Blanco were recently honored for its work fighting for fundamental freedoms. Yet, despite these heroic examples, women remain marginalized by outdated legislation and lackluster law enforcement. Even as we gather here today, women in the Middle East are struggling to make their voices heard in nascent democratic transitions. As countries seek to establish more stable, respected governments, the role of women will be tantamount to their success.”

Read the full speech: http://www.state.gov/g/161910.htm

May 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment


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