IRI Vice President Testifies on the Role of Women in Politics and Civil Society

Washington, DC – Judy Van Rest, Executive Vice President of IRI, testified today before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight chaired by Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO) at the hearing entitled Women as Agents of Change: Advancing the Role of Women in Politics and Civil Society. 

While highlighting many areas where women have made great strides in closing the gender gap, Van Rest noted that, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2009 Global Gender Gap Index “only 17 percent of the political outcomes gap has been closed.”

Van Rest went on to highlight the success women − with the support of organizations like IRI, the National Democratic Institute and theInstitute for Inclusive Security – are achieving, “with the ever growing recognition of the need for women’s empowerment along with training and mentorship programs such as IRI’s Women’s Democracy Network (WDN), women are progressing and achieving much in the political field.”

In citing these examples, Van Rest said, “These examples should give us the hope and impetus to double our efforts to support women in democratic development.”

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