NDI announced today that it will award its 2012 Madeleine K. Albright Grant to the Women’s Discussion Club of Kyrgyzstan.
The Discussion Club, launched with NDI support in 2006, was one of the first groups in Kyrgyzstan to bring together women from diverse backgrounds and political parties to defend the rights and interests of women nationwide.
In 2010, the club was instrumental in supporting women candidates for parliament, and it has organized citizens around key issues, including a successful campaign to halt the legalization of polygamy. The group plans to advocate for stronger quota laws that would increase the number of women in parliament and local government.
The Discussion Club will use the award’s $25,000 grant in these new initiatives and to form a coalition of political party women’s wings to advocate on behalf of women’s rights within the legislature and their respective parties.
“If Kyrgyzstan is to realize its full democratic potential, women must be equal and active partners in shaping society,” said Susan Markham, NDI’s director for women’s political participation.
The Madeleine K. Albright Grant supports community-based organizations that create greater roles for women in political and civic life. It is part of NDI’s Win with Women Global Initiative, which promotes women’s political leadership worldwide. The Albright Grant is made possible through the generosity of the Melvin and Bren Simon Foundation. NDI is deeply grateful to the foundation for its steadfast commitment to the Institute’s political participation programs for women.
Winners of the Albright Grant, which was established in 2005, are selected from a competitive pool of applicants seeking to promote women's participation in civic or political life. The 2011 grant was awarded to Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development (ACT), a women’s rights organization from Egypt, which is using the grant to help organizations and women leaders identify and advocate for women as Egypt works to develop a new constitution and transition to a democratic government.
Other past winners are the Departmental Network of Chocó Women of Colombia (Red Departmental de Mujeres Chocoanas), the Women’s League of Burma, the Indonesian Women’s Political Caucus (KPPI), the Mostar Women’s Citizen Initiative of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone.
Published Jan. 26, 2012