In the inaugural DemWorks podcast, Derek Mitchell, NDI president, talks to the incomparable Madeleine K. Albright about her role as a risk-taking woman leader, the state of democracy and her role as chairman of NDI from its founding in 1983.
Sovereignty resides in and flows from the people of a country. They have a collective right to choose their governmental, political and electoral systems as an aspect of self-determination. The authority of government derives from the will of the people in their choice of these systems, and the people have a right to take part in their government – including through genuine elections to determine who is to legitimately occupy governmental offices.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day today and the progress that women around the world have made, we must also commit to efforts that will overcome the significant obstacles that still stand in their way. This year, the National Democratic Institute is launching a campaign to stop violence against women in politics. Physical and psychological violence is real and has long-lasting consequences. Often women are told that such violence is “just the cost of politics.”
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright greets Afghanistan's First Lady Rula Ghani at the National Democratic Institute's 2015 Madeleine K. Albright Luncheon. Credit: Chan Chao
Each year, NDI awards its Madeleine K. Albright Grant to an organization outside of the United States that defies the odds to give women the tools to participate and lead as equal and active partners in their communities.
At the Madeleine K. Albright luncheon this week in Washington, D.C., the former Secretary of State and NDI’s chairman presented this year’s award to the Worker Women Social Organization (WWSO) of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Rula Ghani, first lady of Afghanistan speaks at a Symposium on Women’s Rights and Empowerment. Credit: Norway MFA/ Kilian Munch
In the last 30 years, Afghanistan has emerged from Soviet occupation, fallen into a crippling civil war, and faced brutal and oppressive rule by the Taliban. During this violent period, women were barred from public life. They were prohibited from working, banned from running for political office, and even shot for attending school. But since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s women have made significant strides for equality.
More than 100 Kosovar women from all sectors of society traveled to Pristina last week for the fourth annual Week of Women (WoW). The weeklong event, supported by NDI, brings together Kosovar women to hone skills and techniques to help them become more effective leaders in their fields.