U.S. Embassy Trains 23 Women Political Leaders from an Array of Political Parties and Regions
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – On September 16 the U.S. Embassy concluded a three-day workshop on strategies for running for political office for 23 aspiring and current Ivoirian female politicians. Workshop participants included women from a wide and balanced range of political parties, as well as participants with no political party affiliation. Participants hailed from Abidjan, Bouaké, Lakota, Man, Guiglo, Bondoukou, Tengrela, and six other locations across Côte d’Ivoire. The workshop provided participants with tools, best practices, and support networks to run political campaigns, with the goal of increasing women’s representation in elected positions.
“We want to empower women to govern because we believe these investments create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all. And the data backs this up,” U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell said at the workshop’s opening ceremony. “The United States will continue to support Côte d’Ivoire in fostering peace, social cohesion, and reconciliation.”
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central tenets of U.S. foreign policy and national security. The U.S. Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire prioritizes increasing inclusive political participation and strengthening democratic institutions, including through expanding the role of women in governance. USAID programming in Côte d’Ivoire works to increase women’s representation in elected assemblies and community-level decision-making processes. USAID also advances women’s engagement in social and political accountability by creating women-led, state-society forums and activities to improve the level of trust between Ivoirian citizens and government officials. The United States is dedicated to protecting and advancing the health and economic, political, and human rights of all women and girls, because when women are empowered, the world benefits.
Dr. Susan Perry, Chair of the Department of International and Comparative Politics at the American University of Paris, and Sarah Wachter, distinguished American journalist, facilitated the workshop via the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Services Office in Paris, France. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor funded the workshop.