A life dedicated to politics is tough. It requires near-constant work designing and communicating solutions to citizen concerns that can seem like a moving target while facing attacks from opponents and navigating the different priorities of allies. Political parties, as the preeminent platforms in democratic systems for aggregating political activists and transforming public campaigns into governance, bear the brunt of this heavy workload.
Women are building Ukraine’s future and playing prominent roles more than ever before in the nation’s democratic transition – particularly since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity (also known as Euromaidan). Public demand for new faces in government, and calls for sweeping political reform, have fueled both the increased election of women and the introduction of legislation to address gender inequities. And in 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers created a new position – Gender Equality Commissioner – to respond to the growing demand for government action on gender issues.
After years of fighting to bring the issues of gender equality to the forefront of Georgia politics, over the past year, activities have succeeded in drawing national attention to the persistent problems faced by women across the country. Civil society’s efforts have succeeded in motivating Georgian leaders to take concrete steps to lessen the gender gap. New amendments introduced to the constitution mandate the state to ensure equal rights and opportunities for men and women, and provide new guarantees for gender equality.
Adamawa state in northeast Nigeria is experiencing an increase in the number of women joining political parties and participating actively in politics. The social landscape of the region is traditional, conservative and male-dominated. As a result, it is a context in which women have long been marginalized from political and electoral processes. Ordinarily, expectations for women’s political participation would be very low.
Following the Republic of Kosovo’s 10th anniversary of independence on February 17, 2018, the House Democracy Partnership (HDP) celebrated the developmental progress of the Assembly of Kosovo at a reception on Capitol Hill. Since the Assembly’s inception in 2001, the Assembly has overcome a variety of challenges. In partnership with HDP and the international community, the Assembly has become a more resilient and forward-looking democratic institution and continues to make strides in strengthening the institution’s lawmaking, oversight and representative roles.
A new report published by NDI and the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya) highlights a number of important political gains made by women during the 2017 general elections. For the first time in Kenya’s history, women were elected to serve as governors and senators, and 29 percent more women ran for office than in the previous election — a fact that led to the largest number of women ever seated at all levels of the Kenyan government.
As Lebanon approaches twice-postponed parliamentary elections, Lebanese voters who participated in NDI survey research completed in January 2018 signaled modest optimism and support for new candidates and approaches to address the country’s long-standing challenges.
The streets were empty as Sierra Leoneans gathered in front of televisions and radios to witness six presidential contenders participate in a three-hour debate, the first in the country’s history to feature all major political parties. In the past, the ruling party has declined to participate or failed to appear on debate night.
In 2017, Kyrgyzstan faced a critical turning point in the country's history. For the first time, an elected president would willingly hand power to an elected successor. Recognizing the importance of this vote, a group of 15 young activists from across the country worked together to carry out a youth-led Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign. The activists spoke with thousands of their peers, from all regions of the country, and creatively used social media to spread the message that young voices should be a critical component of this unprecedented election.