Cities are at the center of a tremendous global demographic shift. Today, more than half the population lives in cities, and by 2050, that number could increase to as much as two-thirds of humanity—a stunning change when compared to past demographic trends. Along with their population growth, cities are also growing in importance and stature worldwide.
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.
“Women’s greater participation in politics is an indispensable condition for a country’s effective, democratic and stable development,” said Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili as he opened NDI’s Win with Women conference in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.
The December 2014 conference brought together Georgian political parties, government institutions and citizen groups to identify ways for women to get more involved in politics, particularly by pushing for mandatory gender quotas for the national parliament.
NDI launched a global initiative this week to ensure that voters and citizen groups have access to detailed election data that will give a true picture of an entire election process, including how candidates are certified, how and which voters are registered, what happens on election day and how complaints are resolved.
While election data should be owned by citizens, access to the information varies widely from country to country. When it is made available, the data is frequently released in formats that make it difficult to use.
In congressional testimony June 11, NDI's regional director for Asia programs, Peter Manikas, provided an overview of recent political developments in Hong Kong, Myanmar/Burma and Thailand. He testified at a hearing, “Retreat or Revival: A Status Report on Democracy In Asia,” put on by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
Historically, women in Pakistan have been involved in election campaigns, but very few have taken part in their party’s policy making process. That is changing through a Political Party Development Program (PPDP), that over the last four years has included 16,609 grassroots party members, of which 44 percent have been women.