Democratic Republic of the Congo

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On November 28, 2011, citizens took to the polls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the second series of presidential and legislative elections since independence in 1960.  With a population of approximately 62 million spread across an area the size of Western Europe, DRC faced immense logistical and political challenges ahead of the elections.  In addition, throughout the entire election process the role of marginalized groups, specifically women and youth, was limited.  Recognizing that women and youth are instrumental in fostering a meaningful democracy, IRI offers workshops and other support as these groups become more engaged in the political process and gain the skills needed to assume positions of political leadership.  IRI’s work is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.