The League was thrilled to share its year-long 90th Anniversary celebration with its valued partners around the world by holding a series of events celebrating and promoting women's leadership, elections, and good governance and transparency. Events began in August, 2010 and concluded in April, 2011.
MUJER, POLITICA Y DEMOCRACIA (WOMEN, POLITICS AND DEMOCRACY) - ARGENTINA - AUGUST 9-11, 2010
In Buenos Aires the League co-sponsored a roundtable discussion on strengthening Women’s Caucuses in the Americas with Fundación Directorio Ejecutivo. The roundtable included presentations by former Senator from Argentina, María Cristina Perceval; former Senator from Colombia, Cecilia López Montaño; and former Congresswoman from Perú, Ana Elena Townsend. María Barón and Noel Alonso Murray represented the Fundación; and Zaida Arguedas, Deputy Executive Director and Senior Director of Global Democracy Programs, represented the League of Women Voters. This roundtable is a follow up to the successful 2007 conference "Women in the America: Paths to Political Power" and the 2008 publication "A Report Card on Women in Political Leadership." The Fundación is a nonprofit organization that has worked since 1999 generating, analyzing, and disseminating legislative information of public interest, promoting transparency and responsibility in Argentina.
THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN ELECTORAL ACTIVITIES - GANJA, AZERBAIJAN - AUGUST 24-27, 2010
In August, Kay Maxwell, former President of the League of Women Voters; Xandra Kayden, former Board Member of the League of Women Voters and Zaida Arguedas, Deputy Executive Director of the League of Women Voters and Senior Director of Global Democracy Programs, participated in an international conference entitled "The Role of Women in Electoral Activities." The conference was a multi-country effort led by Dr. Irada Yagubova, Director of Independent Research Center "ELS" in Baku, in cooperation with the League of Women Voters of the United States and The Association "European Projects" based in Bulgaria. The conference was funded by an award to "ELS" from the U.S. State Department's Democracy Commission Small Grants program and by a small grant from the League's Global Democracy Program.
WOMEN'S JUDICIAL LEADERSHIP: ROUNDTABLE WITH FEMALE ATTORNEYS FROM KUWAIT - SEPTEMBER 20, 2010
On Monday, September 20 the League of Women Voters hosted a group of women attorneys from Kuwait visiting the U.S. to gain an understanding of the American Legal system. Among the many issues discussed, the League highlighted its current work to achieve a more diverse judiciary at the state level in Kansas and South Carolina" a Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary. The attorneys, all members of Kuwait Lawyers’ Association, are working to achieve women’s full representation in the legal system. The group was interested in the history and current status of U.S. women on state and federal benches and how courts in the U.S. maintain public confidence.
DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE: CHECKS AND BALANCES - MADAGASCAR - SEPTEMBER 23-OCTOBER 4, 2010
Following President Obama’s Forum with Young African Leaders in Washington, D.C., the League of Women Voters was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar, to lead a series of dialogues and workshops with 32 young leaders. Zaida Arguedas, the League’s Deputy Executive Director and Senior Director of its Global Democracy Programs, led this effort which focused on creating a nonpartisan center where the leaders can engage youth in becoming more active in the political and civic life of their country. Madagascar is at a very decisive moment in their history, and although 60% of its population is under 30 years of age, they are not especially politically engaged.
REUNITING WITH INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS - RUSSIA - OCTOBER 18, 2010
League staff took time to reunite with partners from Russia, Oksana Guskova and Svetlana Karandina from the Friendship Force International Chapter in Moscow. The League worked with Friendship Force International during its 2009 "Discover the New Russia" trip.
ELECTIONS - MEETING WITH HOPE FELLOWS FROM KOSOVA - NOVEMBER 17, 2010
League staff met with a group of Hope Fellows from Kosova. The Hope Fellowship strengthens the role of women's policy decision-making skills in the Balkans through educational opportunities and leadership development in the public and private sectors. The fellows met with Zaida Arguedas, Deputy Executive Director, to discuss the League's role in elections, including mechanisms for getting out the vote and ensuring transparent elections. The Fellows were eager to share what they had observed during the 2010 mid-term elections in the U.S. and discuss ideas on how to apply similar practices in Kosovo.
WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP IN COLOMBIA - MARCH 2-12, 2011
A delegation of seven women - members of the League of Women Voters, community activists and former elected officials - traveled to Cartagena, Ariguani, Santa Marta, Riohacha, Medellin, and Bogota to reunite with the Colombian Legislative Fellows hosted by them in the United States in the spring and fall of 2010. The hectic schedule included meetings with elected members of parliament and with other decision-makers. The trip was organized by the Colombian Fellows and it attracted a lot of newspaper and radio interwiews.
WOMEN's LEADERSHIP IN BRAZIL - APRIL 9-24, 2011
A delegation of four women and one man -- members of the League of Women Voters, community activists and an elected official - traveled to Sao Paulo and Curitiba, Brazil to reunite with the Brazilian Legislative Fellows hosted by them in the spring and fall of 2010. The very busy scheduled included meetings with members of parliament, grassroots activists and other decision makers. The trip was organized by the Brazilian fellows in close cooperation with the League's partner, Espaco Mulher. The reunion included a 2001 fellow from Porto Alegre.