TweetTalk: Gender, Women & Political Parties

As part of the celebration of International Women’s Day 2015, NDI’s Political Parties and Gender, Women and Democracy teams held a crowdsourcing and networking event on Twitter called a “TweetTalk” to share ideas, best practices and lessons learned when helping to engage more women in political parties.

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Will there be a fourth democratic wave?

As the Cold War came to a close, renowned political scientist, professor and author, Francis Fukuyama, proclaimed the end of history. He said humankind had reached the endpoint of its “ideological evolution,” and Western liberal democracy had won out as the “final form of human government." At around the same time, another influential political scientist, Samuel P. Huntington wrote that the world was in the middle of a “third wave” of democratic expansion. But 23 years later, the third democratic wave has hit a wall. According to Larry Diamond, founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy, the rapid democratic expansion, which began in the 1970s and continued until 2005, is now in recession.

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Women's Political Participation: A Critical Step for Economic Empowerment

Late last month, a guest on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show told him: “Wherever we go...there is always something” stopping women from following their dreams. The guest? Not a firebrand feminist, but the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde. Her comments came as the IMF released a new report detailing the positive effect women’s economic empowerment has on our world: in short, when women are able to participate in the economy as equal members of the labor force, life improves for everyone. This may not be shocking new information—at least for those of us interested in the topic—but the report presents much-needed evidence to support its findings.

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A Renewed Vision: DemTools 2.0

DemTools are a set of open-source solutions developed by NDI’s Technology for Democracy team (NDItech) to address some of democracy’s most common problems. The tools, which were released in August to NDI partners, the development community and general public, focus on scalability – providing advanced technologies to make their work more effective, while reducing maintenance and sustainability burdens. NDI recently received a renewed National Endowment for Democracy grant for the continued development and expansion of DemTools. In deciding where and how to allocate these funds, we reviewed current features and updated our roadmap for product development and version release timelines. We determined that better support, enhanced multilingual capacity and increased usability were priorities across all of the tools.

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In Discussion on Gender and Decision-Making, Only One Gender Represented

Glancing around the room, it seemed that the Feb. 24 event that NDI’s Gender, Women and Democracy (GWD) team put on had a great turnout. About 60 people from the federal government, academic institutions, multilateral organizations and NGOs were present. Despite the impressive attendance, one startling detail caught my attention as everyone took their seats: nearly everyone was a woman – there was one man on the panel and only two male guests in the audience. This, to me, spoke volumes about the state of the movement for women’s empowerment and gender equality.

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Facing “Democratic Recession” Requires Democratic Resolve

Recent articles by Charles Lane in the Washington Post, Thomas Friedman in the New York Times and Larry Diamond in the Journal of Democracy agree that the lack of a significant increase in the number of democracies and the measured deterioration of freedoms since 2006 means we are in a global democratic recession. They agree that what the U.S. and other democracies do will make a difference in how the recession develops. In effect, they posit that democratic resolve is being tested – both concerning the state of domestic democracy and democracy's role in international affairs. They are right about that.

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Women Making Democracy Happen

Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate all that women have achieved while recognizing the barriers that still stand in the way of gender equality.

This year’s theme is “Make It Happen.” Since its founding in 1983, NDI has sought to live those words by helping to give women the tools to participate, compete and lead as equal and active partners in democratic change.

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A Project Assistant's First Week

I waited in the lobby to meet my supervisor to start my first day as the project assistant for the Public Affairs team. With over 1,000 employees, 60 field offices and programs in over 70 countries, I had a lot to learn about the organization. The first week in a new position can be overwhelming, but human resources put together a project assistant orientation that made my transition fun and smooth.

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Job Opportunity: Director of Global Security and Operations

The Director of Global Security and Operations will be responsible for mitigating risk inherent in the security environments in which NDI operates through security and emergency planning, orientation and training, and response to incidents. This position will also oversee the non-security functions of the Operations Department. This position is based in Washington, D.C., and reports to the Vice President of NDI.

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