Past Program

Apr 26 - May 03, 2004

Strengthening Democracy and Governance: Women and Political Power


Women have made significant strides in the exercise of political power in recent time. Nevertheless, women remain underrepresented at most levels of government in nearly all countries around the world. This has ramifications for the smooth and optimal functioning of democracy and impacts the ability of government institutions to create effective policies and practices that equally serve the needs of women and men. This session will consider various pathways to political power and will closely examine those paths most often pursued by women, looking for insights into different structures and systems most likely to encourage women's participation and remove barriers to access to power.


Through regional and cross-cultural comparisons of information and experiences, we will seek to meet the following four goals:

  • Recognize commonalities across national borders and diverse cultures
  • Identify and examine discernable transnational trends
  • Distinguish successful strategies and approaches that could be profitably transferred
  • Raise awareness of what knowledge and information is lacking and encourage new research in the field

Primary attention will be given to those strategies that strengthen women's capacity and promote participation in all aspects of political life, leading to greater gender equality in key decision-making processes and positions. Participants will seek to distinguish approaches that assure women's full engagement in public life, seeking political office, gaining elective and appointive positions, and expanding their access to political power.


The fee for this session is US$5,000 not including travel. The fee covers the cost of the program, accommodations, and meals.


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.