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.
From February 20 to 23, NDI convened 16 electoral experts and data-minded civil society leaders in Kyiv, Ukraine, for an intensive four-day Election Data Academy. As part of NDI’s Open Election Data Initiative (OEDI), these participants, representing 12 different countries*, were led through practical, hands-on modules developed by NDI that highlighted best practices for obtaining and using election data to advance electoral integrity.
In Cambodia, women continue to be underrepresented in politics. Only three of 29 cabinet ministers are women, and there are no women provincial governors. Women make up just 20 percent of National Assembly members— though a higher proportion than many countries, it is still below the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. At the local level, only 18 percent of commune councilors are women.
Six years of conflict have taken a tremendous toll on the Syrian people, particularly women and girls. Not only is sexual violence used as a weapon of war, but the conflict has exacerbated many forms of violence against women and girls, from rape and sexual assault to forced and early marriages. Most communities have few resources to support survivors, with little medical or psychosocial care equipped to meet their needs, limited or non-existent judiciary and law enforcement institutions to pursue cases, a culture of impunity, and persistent stigmatization of survivors.
The connection between technology, innovation and citizen input is a paramount one. One cannot effectively happen without the other, as uses of technology must be designed and created with prospective users in mind. Thus, the bond between citizen interaction and technology directly relates to the benefit and improvement of society; for instance, by finding solutions to issues that directly affect citizens, such as violence and crime. In Latin America, technology has allowed notable changes in the economic, social and political realms.
Women in Somalia continue to face significant obstacles that limit their political participation. Along with institutional and financial constraints that prevent women from running for office, women also face technical capacity challenges and other barriers including the central role of clan-based power in the electoral process. This central role of clan-based power traditionally opposed women’s political participation and inclusion in decision-making and heightened the harassment and intimidation women candidates faced by their male counterparts and traditional elders.
Youth in Kyrgyzstan are not often asked their opinion on political matters. However, NDI’s work with youth activists in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, has demonstrated that youth are enthusiastic and capable participants in the political process, eager to have their voices heard.
On March 20, NDI kicked off its fifth Week of Women (WoW), an annual event held in Kosovo to draw attention to the need for more women in politics, provide training and networking opportunities for women leaders, and foster institutional support to promote women within parties and within the political process more broadly.
The remote location and socioeconomic status of many Cambodian provincial communities have historically marginalized rural voters from the political process. During Cambodia’s 2013 election, a lack of civic education led to frequent misunderstandings of the electoral process, deterring many rural voters from casting ballots.