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Amplify Marginalized Voices

People who subsist on the outer edge of a community have little or no chance of being seen or heard. Without democracy, women, youth, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTI individuals, and people with disabilities are marginalized.

IRI’s work helps empower people to raise their voices to make their opinions known. In emerging democracies, we can encourage them to increase their community involvement because they know they matter and can therefore make a difference.

Uniting Young People Around the World

Civically engaged youth drive economic growth, democracy, and prosperity. In turn, when youth are not engaged in their country, it can lead to violence, instability and migration.

Launched in September 2015, our Generation Democracy initiative is a global network of more than 400 youth organizations representing 75 countries around the world.

The network links youth with their peers in other countries to share ideas and best practices on increasing political and civic participation and giving youth a greater voice in the governance of their communities. To learn more about Generation Democracy click HERE.

Connecting Women to Their Best Resource One Another

When women participate as decision makers, the economic and social well-being of their country grows, and more inclusive governing and peacebuilding processes take root. Yet, millions of women continue to struggle for the rights to vote, run for office or serve as leaders in public life.

Through our Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) and our Arab Women’s Leadership Institute (AWLI), we connect women to their best resource: one another. With active WDN members in more than 60 countries and country chapters in 14 countries, WDN leads our efforts to empower women politically.  To learn more about WDN go to

Empowering Persons With Disabilities

Political participation plays a critical role in democratic governance, the rule of law, social inclusion and economic development. Yet, people with disabilities are routinely denied the chance to exercise their political voice.

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 contained progressive reforms intended to bring government closer to everyday Kenyans through an aggressive form of decentralization known as devolution. However, seven years later, persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to full participation in electoral and democratic processes. To address these barriers, we researched the obstacles persons with disabilities face to political participation, seeking to understand the nuances of these obstacles at the county level.

With the findings, IRI is supporting persons with disabilities to engage candidates for county office and subsequently, newly elected leaders, on issues of importance to them and to improve conditions for their political participation in the post-election period. To learn more about the work we do in Kenya, listen to the Kenya episode of our podcast “Global“ HERE.

The generous support of individuals and corporations enable IRI staff and volunteers to carry out its mission around the world. With your help, IRI will continue its mission of hope for decades to come.

IRI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible

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