NDI Launches Women Mayors’ Network on World Cities Day

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

WoMN Will Bring Together and Support Women Mayors Who Are #LeadingDifferently

Washington, D.C. -- Today the National Democratic Institute (NDI) marked World Cities Day by launching the Women Mayors’ Network (WoMN), an international, nonpartisan peer network to support women who are running governments at the urban level and who are #LeadingDifferently.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated October 31 as World Cities Day to promote sustainable urban development around the world and address the challenges of global urbanization. The 2017 theme, “Innovative Governance, Open Cities,” highlights the important role of urbanization as a source of global development and social inclusion.

Through its focus on the capacity and experience of women mayors, WoMN is unlike any other cities-based association. It is open to current women mayors of nationally significant urban centers and will host a biennial summit where members can meet, connect and innovate. It will offer members a space for networking and a platform for policy forums, innovation, cross-regional collaboration and lesson learning.  

WoMN members will also have access to technical expertise that will enhance and deepen their effectiveness as executive officers. By harnessing the reach of its worldwide membership -- leaders of a rapidly urbanizing global population -- WoMN will be a global political force that builds democratic resilience through inclusive and accountable urban government.

Mayor Muriel Bowser – Washington, DC

Mayor Muriel Bowser – Washington, DC
Mayor Muriel Bowser – Washington, DC

“I look forward to working with the Women Mayors’ Network to build safer, stronger, and more prosperous communities across the globe,” said Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We know that when women lead, cities thrive, and by working together and sharing best practices, we will be able to multiply our successes and improve the lives of millions of people.”

Urbanization provides new opportunities for human development and the potential for new forms of social inclusion, including through greater gender equality. Though it is estimated that more than 75 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030, less than 5 percent of the world’s mayors are women. WoMN will aim to increase this percentage by creating a global network where women mayors can harness their expertise and obtain further technical assistance to increase their capacities as mayors.


The WoMN International Impact Committee includes the following leaders:

Vera Baboun, Former Mayor of Bethlehem

Jane Campbell, Former Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Célestine Ketcha Epse Courtès, Mayor of Bangangte, Cameroon; Coordinator of the African Women Mayors’ Network

Mimoza Kusari-Lila, Member of Parliament, Kosovo; former Mayor of Gjakova

Clara Doe-Mvogo, Mayor of Monrovia, Liberia

Annise Parker, Former Mayor of Houston, Texas, USA

Susana Villarán de la Puente, Former Mayor of Lima, Peru

Katharine Lusk, Executive Director of the Initiative on Cities at Boston University

Dr. Emily Murase, Director of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women

Soon-Young Yoon, Chair of the Board of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization

Sandra Pepera, NDI Director for Gender, Women and Democracy



NDI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. WoMN is an initiative of NDI.

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