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Conference 8 December 2012: Countries in Transition – Options for Women’s Political Participation

Countries in Transition: Options for Women's Political Participation

Violence, discriminatory legislation and patriarchal attitudes are just some of the obstacles to the political participation of women.On 8 December 2011 an international conference co-organised by DIPD will address these challenges facing women today.

The convention on civil and political rights applies to women and men equally. Reality is nevertheless somewhat different, as women continue to face multiple barriers to political participation. Cultural barriers, repressive legislation and outright physical violence towards women claiming their rights to political participation are just some of the obstacles facing the political voice of women in the developing world today.

The challenges to women’s political participation will be addressed at the international conference “Countries in Transition – Options for Women’s Political participation 8 December 2011 in Copenhagen. The conference is organised by Africa Contact, Gendernet and the Danish Institute for Human Rights and features a list of experts on women in politics, including leading civil society activists from Zimbabwe and Tunisia, where women tend to be left out of efforts to democratize.

The conference is supported by DIPD and KVINFO. Director at DIPD, Bjørn Førde, will introduce and facilitate discussions.

Purpose and Outcome

The purpose of the conference is to:

  1. Identify challenges facing women, such as politically motivated violence and exclusion from decision-making processes.
  2. Discus best practices of how to develop an enabling political culture and strategies for mobilising women to seek influence.
  3. Give recommendations to donors, civil society and human rights activists.

See full program

A conference brief with recommendations for how civil society and policy makers in Denmark and internationally can address political violence against women will be drafted at the backdrop of discussions during the day. Also, the conference will act as a platform for establishing a working group to further the agenda of women’s political participation.


Lovemore Madhuku – National Constitutional Assembly (Zimbabwe)

Chairperson of the Zimbabwean grass-roots movement National Constitutional Assembly (NCA). Madhuku is a well-known figure within the labour and democracy movement in Zimbabwe and one of the founding members of the NCA in 1997.

Munjodzi Mutandiri – National Constitutional Assembly (Zimbabwe)

Coordinator at the National Constitutional Assembly’s office in South Africa. Mutandiri is the main driving force behind international campaign “ACT NOW against political violence, torture and rape” which aims to stop politically motivated violence against women in Zimbabwe.  Mutandiri has also been active within Zimbabwe National Students Union and Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network.

Rumbidzai A. Kandawasvika-Nhundu – International IDEA

Senior Programme Manager at International IDEA’s Global programme ’Democracy and Gender’. Kandawasvika-Nhundu is amulti-disciplinary gender and development practitioner with several years of hands-on professional experience on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment initiatives at national, regional and international levels. She has among other functions participated in the SADC region Gender Experts Reference Group for the “Gender in Southern African Politics” research.

Lylia Ben Hamida – TAAMS (Tunisia)

Project Manager, TAAMS. Hamida is project manager for TAAMS project on Citizenship, Women Empowerment and Youth Entrepreneurship and has extensive experience on community development through micro-credit.

Piyoo Kochar – iKNOWpolitics

Project Manager at the International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOWpolitics). iKNOWpolitics is an interactive network of women in politics who share experiences, access resources and advisory services, and network and collaborate on issues of common interest. Kochar has extensive experience in working with development communication.

More Information

For more information on the conference, please contact Coordinator at Gendernet, Olga Ege at: or Project Coordinator at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and member of Africa Contact, Marie Villumsen, at:

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