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Women’s Political Participation and Leadership Women’s Political Participation and Leadership

Women’s Political Participation and Leadership

A critical component of democratic dialogue and social inclusion

The WLA-CdM has worked with women leaders in Africa and Latin America to promote political participation, especially on Peace and Security challenges.

Women’s political participation is a critical component of democratic dialogue and social cohesion. In 2009-12, Club of Madrid, based on the leadership experience of its Members worked in 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, this project worked 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. This initiative was supported by the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Germany and Norway

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.

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. These projects were complemented with other activities related to women’s political participation and gender equality, and in inter-religious dialogues during the last 10 years.

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