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The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.


NDI has announced that it will award its 2013 Madeleine K. Albright Grant to the Network of Support for Women Municipal Leaders (REAMM) of Mexico. The $25,000 grant goes to community-based organizations that create greater roles for women in civic and political life.

The REAMM, a civil association created in 2009, works with political parties and government institutes across the country to support women’s leadership at the local level. It was founded with the support of the Griselda Álvarez Institute, an organization established in honor of the first woman governor in Mexico with the mission to increase women’s political participation. REAMM, the group’s acronym in Spanish, works to increase the number of women leaders in a position to make public policy decisions, and to strengthen their skills. While women have attained prominence in national politics, at the state level, just 6.1 percent of Mexico’s 2,400 municipal presidents are women.

REAMM participated in a successful campaign, “2% and More Women in Politics,” to improve enforcement of a provision in Mexico’s federal election code that designates 2 percent of federal political party funding for women’s leadership training. REAMM has also conducted training programs with municipal women’s institutes and helped political party leaders develop plans to put the 2 percent funding to good use. Last year, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), which organizes federal elections in Mexico, publicly recognized the REAMM’s contribution to promoting women’s leadership.

The REAMM will use the award to bring together civic, political and government representatives to form coalitions that will, with improved tools and skills, be able to carry out campaigns to increase political participation by women. In particular, REAMM will work to establish rules at the state level, similar to the 2 percent federal regulation, that require parties to designate a portion of their financial allocation to promote women’s political leadership.

“REAMM was selected from a pool of accomplished women's organizations from around the world,” said Susan Markham, NDI’s director for women’s political participation. “REAMM has made a difference in the lives of thousands of Mexican women by helping to ensure that parties keep their promises to support training and development for new women leaders. We are honored to award them the 2013 Madeleine K. Albright Grant to support their efforts to reach even more women across the country.”

Laura Inés López Padilla, president of the board of REAMM, will accept the award at a luncheon to be held on May 29 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St., NW, in Washington, D.C.

Before joining REAMM, she worked for 10 years at the United Nations Development Programme on issues including gender and governance. She was a member of the advisory council of the Mexican National Women’s Institute from 2006 to 2012 and served as the project coordinator of the Griselda Álvarez Institute for nine years.

The Madeleine K. Albright Grant is part of NDI’s Win with Women Global Initiative, which promotes women’s political leadership worldwide. The grant is made possible through the generosity of the Melvin and Bren Simon Foundation. NDI is deeply grateful to the foundation for its steadfast commitment to the Institute’s political participation programs for women.


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Published March 5, 2013


Updated July 18, 2013