The National Democratic Institute (NDI) will award its 2017 Madeleine K. Albright Grant to Women Act for Living Together (WALT), a non-profit organization supporting the rights of women and children in the Central African Republic (CAR). Established in 2013 by a group of Muslim and Christian women under the slogan “better together,” WALT heroically championed peace, social cohesion and reconciliation in the face of extreme unrest and violence. WALT’s objectives have since expanded to include a range of activities aimed at supporting inclusive governance and gender equality.
NDI’s Chairman, former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, will present this year’s award to Angeline Kaïgama-Kel at NDI’s annual Madeleine K. Albright Luncheon, which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., on May 2 (get tickets). Kaïgama-Kel serves as secretary general and coordinator for gender, elections and democracy for WALT. With the $25,000 grant, WALT will strengthen young women’s knowledge of political leadership by training 90 women from high schools, universities, political parties, and civic groups in CAR’s capital, Bangui, and Bouar, a community near the country’s western border with Cameroon. These young women will then organize Young Women Leaders’ Clubs for Excellence to raise the political awareness of their peers by organizing topical debates and discussing how to become involved in political parties or civil society.
WALT will also assist a coalition of women parliamentarians, politicians and activists to monitor the implementation of CAR’s law on parity between men and women, and advocate for measures to ensure adherence by political parties and government. The young women and coalition members will be featured in radio shows on women’s political participation that will be broadcast across the country.
WALT is a non-partisan and not-for-profit organization that supports the country’s democratic institutions through the promotion of credible elections, social cohesion, justice and peace. WALT also works to improve opportunities for education and income generation for girls and women, sponsors disadvantaged and orphaned children and protects the environment through advocacy efforts.
The Madeleine K. Albright Luncheon has honored the role of women in politics and the work of women’s political empowerment for the past ten years. Proceeds from the event support NDI’s Madeleine K. Albright Women’s Project that helps women break down the barriers to engaging in politics, and empowers them with the knowledge and skills to participate, compete and lead.
Madeleine Albright, NDI’s chairman, was the first woman U.S. Secretary of State. Throughout her career, she has been a role model for and a key champion of women’s empowerment and gender equality. In 2005, in recognition of her longstanding activism on the issue of women’s political engagement across the globe, NDI established the Madeleine K. Albright Grant, which each year provides a grant to a grassroots organization working on women’s political empowerment. This grant is awarded at the annual Madeleine K. Albright Luncheon.
NDI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Since its founding in 1983, NDI and its local partners have worked to establish and strengthen political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.