Democracy That Delivers

Women's Political Participation and Leadership

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Women’s political participation is a critical component of democratic dialogue and social cohesion. In 2009, Club of Madrid, based on the leadership experience of its Members launched the initiative Women’s Leadership for Peace and Security in the Greater Horn of Africa and the Andean Region for an increased and more effective participation of women in peace and security processes, and enhanced respect of their human rights in conflict and post conflict situations.


Although progress has been made in terms of the number of women elected and appointed to office around the world, women are still largely absent from relevant decision-making bodies at all levels. Often as targets of extreme violence, women continue to experience the full impact of violent conflict as civilians and combatants. They continue to face significant institutional disadvantages in politics and are generally excluded from the decision-making in peace processes.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) calls for women’s equal participation in decisions concerning peace and security. Using 1325 as leverage, the project works directly with women leaders and women’s groups in the Greater Horn of Africa and the Andean Region to promote interaction and dialogue with national, regional and international decision-making structures and mechanisms to engage in conflict prevention, management and resolution. 


“Women experience the full impact of violent conflict as civilians and combatants – all too often as targets of extreme forms of violence. That they are excluded from the decision-making processes that ignite wars and put an end to them is unacceptable and must stop.”

 Mary Robinson, President of Ireland (1990-1997)


 A core group of Club de Madrid members facilitates and works with the G40 –a group of women leaders from across the Horn of Africa- in order to increase their capacity and engagement in political advocacy. This in turn increases women’s participation in peace and security processes and mechanisms. 


"In addition to the purpose that the G40 serves for its own members as a vehicle for learning, growing and supporting each other, sharing ideas and becoming more effective, it is also now a partner for other bodies like the UN, increasing their effectiveness as well."

Kim Campbell, Prime Minister Canada (1993)

Mary Robinson, Kim Campbell, Women


Previously, the organization addressed and strengthened women’s political participation and leadership in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda during a 21-month project (2007-2008) funded by the European Commission and the Canadian Government. This project was complemented with other activities related to women’s political participation and gender equality, and in inter-religious dialogues.


“Women´s organizations are very powerful and you (the G40) as a network of women across the Horn of Africa can harness that strength to the benefit of the Horn of Africa, to include the issues on the national agenda."

Valdis Birkavs, Prime Minister Latvia (1993-1994)





The project is supported by:

Commonwealth of Australia, (Australian Agency for International Development)

The Kingdom Of Belgium (Federal Public Service. Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation)

The German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Government of Iceland

The Hunt Alternatives Fund - Institute for Inclusice Security.











For more information, please contact:

Carla Fernández Durán, Program Officer




Club de Madrid
Palacio del Marqués de Cañete. Calle Mayor, 69, Planta 1, 28013 Madrid - Spain
Tel +34 911 548 230 Fax +34 911 548 240