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DSS 2024 - Day Three

Shifting the Paradigms of Power – A Global Movement

Now more than ever, people around the world are challenging the status quo and demanding a new way of governing that doesn't involve binary choices, zero-sum thinking, and aggressive competition. In celebration of International Women's Day, the third and final day of the Democracy Solutions Summit is focused on women's leadership around the world. We will hear from international women politicians, advocates, and thought leaders who are doing the work and having an impact. We will hear about both electoral and non-electoral strategies that have proven to level the playing field for women to run and serve. We will also hear from women leaders about real-life initiatives that are shifting the paradigms of power and crafting new and improved ways of governing. What a great opportunity to learn from our global neighbors and think through how we might adapt these strategies for the US context. 

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Panel: Power Like You've Never Seen – Ways Women are Crafting a New and Improved Way of Governing

Time: 3:05 - 3:55pm ET

Now more than ever, people around the world are challenging the status quo and demanding a new way of governing that doesn't involve binary choices, zero-sum thinking, and aggressive competition. In this inspiring conversation, you will hear about several real-life initiatives that have shifted the paradigms of power by bringing inclusivity, compassion, and citizens back to the center to transform government engagement. 

Expert Discussion 1: Non-Electoral Solutions to Building Women's Political Power

Time: 3:55 - 4:25pm ET

As the United States sees more and more diverse women serving in office, it's becoming apparent that the government workplace is not always a safe and productive place for women. Women electeds not only deal with issues like sexual harassment and racism, they sometimes don't even have access to a women's restroom. In our very own US Senate, women senators didn't have access to a private "senators only" restroom until the 1990s. The existing "senators only" restroom was for men only. In this conversation, we highlight a few exciting and impactful programs to reduce barriers so that women legislators can serve and lead effectively.

Expert Discussion 2: Electoral Solutions to Building Women's Political Power

Time: 4:25 - 4:55pm ET

We round out our third annual Democracy Solutions Summit with a fireside chat conversation about two very powerful policy solutions that have a proven track record of removing barriers for women to run and win: gender quotas and the single-transferable vote system. We will hear directly from women experts whose countries deploy these systems to learn how these policy solutions work, and the impact they've had on women in their countries.

Keynote Speech

Namatai Kwekweza

Executive Director of WELEAD Trust

Namatai Kwekweza serves as the Executive Director of WELEAD Trust, an organization that she founded at age 18 in 2017, which focuses on youth leadership development and advocacy. Through the work done at WELEAD Trust, youth have built strong alliances around human rights, feminist solidarity practices, constitutionalism, participation in governance and leader development.

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Panel: Power Like You’ve Never Seen - Ways Women are Crafting a New & Improved Way of Governing

Victoria Pelletier

RepresentWomen's National Partnerships Manager

Victoria Pelletier is the National Partnerships Manager at RepresentWomen, and is based in Portland, Maine. She is currently serving her first term as a Portland City Councilor, and is the second Black woman in her city’s history that has been elected to this seat.

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Yordanos Eyoel

Founder & CEO of Keseb

Yordanos Eyoel is an Ethiopian-American democracy entrepreneur who is the Founder and CEO of Keseb. Keseb is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization building an ecosystem for cross-country learning, collaboration, and innovation to advance inclusive and resilient democracies.

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Marjan H. Ehsassi

Executive Director of the Federation for Innovation in Democracy (North America)

Marjan H. Ehsassi is the Executive Director of the Federation for Innovation in Democracy North America. She is also a Future of Democracy Fellow (non-resident) at the Berggruen Institute and a Senior Innovations Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA at OSU).

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Jennifer Nadel

Co-founder and Director of Compassion in Politics

Jennifer Nadel is an author, activist and award-winning journalist with an unwavering commitment to both compassion and women’s rights. As the co-director of the UK-based think tank Compassion in Politics, Jennifer works to help foster more empathetic and compassionate politics across the political spectrum, working with over 100 MPs.

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Expert Discussion: Non-electoral Solutions - Addressing Violence Against Women and Mental Well-Being in Politics 

Sandra Pepera

Director For Gender, Women And Democracy, National Democratic Institute

Q&A: Speaking up and being heard — why women in politics should be the norm  | Devex

Sandra Pepera is a career diplomat and international development professional. Before joining NDI as its Director for Gender, Women and Democracy in 2014, she spent thirteen years as a Senior Officer at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), including leading programs in the Caribbean, Rwanda-Burundi and Sudan. Prior to joining DFID, Sandra spent time in British domestic politics; lecturing in political science and international relations at the University of Ghana; and as a political analyst in the Political Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

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Senator Cynthia López Castro

Mexican Senator and President of IPU's Women's Caucus

Bio coming soon!

Natalia Herbst

Director for Latin America Strategy and Development at the Apolitical Foundation

Natalia is an Obama Scholar '19 who has over 10 years of experience in government at the local and national levels. In 2023 she was a member of President Obama’s Inclusive Economies Working Group.

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Expert Discussion: Electoral Solutions - Gender Quotas in Latin America & Australia’s Single Transferable Voting System

Vandinika Shukla

RepresentWomen Board Chair & Gender Policy Specialist

Vandinika Shukla is a gender policy specialist, technology policy expert, and educator. She has spent the last decade designing national gender policies and advocacy campaigns at UN Women, building public interest technology products and partnerships at MIT Media Lab, and founding organizations to amplify unheard stories for stronger democracies.

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Jennifer Piscopo

Professor of Gender and Politics at Royal Holloway University of London

Jennifer M. Piscopo is Professor of Gender and Politics at Royal Holloway University of London. She is a leading expert on gender and politics, especially women’s political representation, in Latin America, the United States, and the globe.

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Kate Chaney MP

Member of Parliament in Australia's House of Representatives

Kate Chaney is Western Australia’s first female Independent Federal Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives.

Bio coming soon!



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