ABOUT THE EVENT
Although many countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa have high percentages of women in elective office, regionally representation rests at 23 percent. Further, countries such as Zimbabwe and Kenya have set a precedent for political violence against women during elections, a trend that is rapidly spreading to East, West and southern Africa. With elections on the horizon for countries across the continent, it is timely to re-examine the role of women in the political arena. Gambia has encouragingly just appointed its second female vice president. Kenya and Liberia will take to the polls later this year, and Zimbabwe is slated for elections in 2018. Women’s participation both within elected office and as part of the larger political discussion is crucial for a thriving democracy throughout the African states. Teaching women how to participate in the political climate and using strategies to ensure the inclusivity of women is vital to achieving democratic ideals.
On February 15th, the World Movement for Democracy hosted a screening of the documentary, Girl Child: One Woman’s Quest to Redefine Her Society, which chronicles the saga of the World Movement for Democracy’s Glanis Changachierere, an inspiring woman who fought against cultural norms to create space for young women’s political participation Zimbabwe. A discussion moderated by Natalie Kay with Ms. Changachiriere, Kamissa Camara, and Amanda Domingues followed the screening.
Senior Program Officer, National Endowment for Democracy
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Glanis Changachirere is founding director of the Institute for Young Women Development, a NED grantee organization that promotes the political participation of young women in Zimbabwe’s marginalized communities. She is a feminist and former student leader, who has courageously broken down barriers between tradition and contemporary democratic societies by fostering dialogue between young women and leaders in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland Central. In recognition of her pioneering work, she received a 2013 Democracy Award from NED and in 2015 earned a seat on the World Movement for Democracy’s Steering Committee. She is currently a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies. Her fellowship project will cumulate in a guidebook for practitioners on lessons learned, and successful strategies for encouraging young women’s political participation in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kamissa Camara is a Senior Program Officer for West & Central Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) where she oversees a multi-million grant portfolio to civil society organizations in the West and Central Africa sub-regions, designs country strategies and identifies policy gaps in transitional justice, human rights, peacebuilding, democracy promotion, corruption and civil-military relations that can potentially be addressed by local partners through NED funding. Prior to her employment with NED, Kamissa worked for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) where she managed electoral assistance programs in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. She has trained over 300 electoral management officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Niger, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Burundi, Nigeria, Gabon, France and Uganda on electoral operations and electoral management. She tweets @kamissacamara
Amanda Domingues is a Senior Program Assistant and the Gender, Women and Democracy team at NDI, where she works to support the aspirations of women around the world to be equal and active partners in shaping and leading democratic societies. Prior to joining NDI, Ms Domingues attended graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles where she studied women’s political participation, state building, and constitutional reform. Much of her research examined the effectiveness of constitutional gender quotas as a means to increase both descriptive and substantive representation for women.RSVP
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