Women’s voices are still missing in the political spear worldwide. For any country to achieve and sustain a full democracy woman must have the opportunity to participate in the political process. Some might ask why this is important. To them I ask, “What is democracy? Is it people for the people, or is it just one gender for the people?”

The answer is clear. Women need a seat at the political table and IRI’s Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) helps make that happen. To increase women’s participation in political processes WDN develops the leadership skills of women and strengthens the ability of women to compete in elections.

This is where “Ask a Woman to Run” comes in. Last week, I traveled to Albania to preview WDN’s “Ask a Woman to Run” campaign curriculum.

This new campaign curriculum covers the essential elements to run a successful campaign including; developing a campaign plan, working on a communications strategy, and strategizing a get out the vote operation. 

Since 2009, WDN has had an established country chapter in Albania. This Chapter brings a wealth of knowledge and has years of expertise in social and economic development, gender base violence, healthcare and judicial reform. With the upcoming elections in June, we knew it was a perfect time to train the Chapter on new campaign ideas and techniques.

This is a historic time for Albania and I am honored to get to walk with these women on their journey. WDN’s motto is “Women Must Help Women,” thus helping the women to have effective and successful campaigns is the essence of what we do at WDN.

Over the next few weeks I will be profiling some of the amazing women I met on the trip. All have a different story, they come from different parts of the country, but all of them are ready to make their voice heard. I look forward to sharing their stories with you. 

A quick selfie with the amazing Albania Country Chapter!


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