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Women's Power Network
The Transatlantic Divide: Myths, Realities, and Business as Usual 
Women, Political Power, and Next Generation Leadership
11 Sep - 17 Sep, 2006
(Session 433)

Noeleen Heyzer (Co-Chair) - Executive Director, United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), New York
Miria Matembe (Co-Chair) - Co-founder, Action for Development (ACFODE), Kampala; former Minister of Ethics and Integrity, The Republic of Uganda
Melanne Verveer (Co-Chair) - Chair of the Board of Directors, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Washington, DC; former Chief of Staff to then First Lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton
Margaret Alva - General Secretary, Indian National Council Congress, New Delhi
John Mathiason - Adjunct Professor of International Relations, Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse, New York
Linda Tarr-Whelan - Managing Partner, Tarr- Whelan & Associates, Inc., St Helena Island, SC

Additional Session Support:
Caroline Carpenter (Resource Specialist) - Program Director, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan
Karen Whalen (Resource Specialist) - Director, Marketing and Communications, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan

Despite advancements made by women in the political arena in recent time, they remain grossly underrepresented at most levels of government in nearly every country. This has ramifications for the smooth and optimal functioning of democracy, impacts the ability of government to create effective policies and practices that equally serve the needs of women and men, and, arguably, limits the development potential of societies. The Millennium Development Goals (2000) and the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) identified the critical need for women to gain greater parity in political representation and decision-making power, yet despite international commitment to attaining these goals, progress has been halting at best.

This session will closely examine the paths most often pursued by women to achieve political office; identifying successful strategies, sharing best practices and developing innovative approaches to further the political empowerment of women, particularly for the next generation of leaders. The session will seek to:

  • Provide opportunities for the exchange and creation of successful strategies and innovative practices
  • Raise awareness of national and international policies and agreements that can be used to hold governments accountable
  • Provide information and resources to individuals and institutions to advocate more effectively women's greater political participation
  • Promote greater involvement of young and marginalized women in the political process
  • Encourage and empower more women to stand for political office
  • Promote new research on the current reality of women's political participation and exercise of political power, and on the impact of increasing women's political participation and power
  • Create an international and intergenerational network of women and men, and a network of organizations, to support and encourage women's political participation

Additionally, through cooperation with UNIFEM and Vital Voices, the session will draw on successful case studies from the field, will access a broader audience for dissemination and implementation of results, and will be able to influence the global action agenda for and of women.

The fee for this session is 3,300 EURO. The fee covers the cost of the program, accommodations, and meals.

Limited financial aid is available and is awarded based on need. Applicants who believe they qualify for assistance should explain their circumstances in a letter, which should be submitted with their application.

Session Report and Video Material

Session Faculty

Melanne Verveer
Noeleen Heyzer

Related SGS Programs
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18 Oct - 23 Oct, 2009
Peace-Making and Peace-Building: Securing the Contributions of Women and Civil Society
07 Sep - 12 Sep, 2008
(Session 455)
Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Women in Politics and Business
03 Nov - 08 Nov, 2007
(Session 447)
Strengthening Democracy and Governance: Women and Political Power
26 Apr - 03 May, 2004
(Session 417)


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