Summit for Democracy

Network for Gender Inclusive Democracy

Women’s political empowerment and democratic resilience are intrinsically tied: countries will not achieve responsive, accountable governance or progress toward broader sustainable development goals without the meaningful participation, leadership, and agency of women, who represent more than half of the population.

The Network for Gender Inclusive Democracy (Network) was initially formed in the wake of the first Summit for Democracy in 2021 to catalyze diplomatic and programmatic commitments to advance women’s civic and political participation and leadership (WPPL). By taking an “ecosystem” approach, Network partners are working multilaterally and at the country level to build the pipeline of civic-minded and/or politically interested women and girls, while simultaneously leveraging diplomatic engagement and development resources to create a favorable environment to facilitate their representation, leadership, and agency.

Research demonstrates that countries that provide a safe and enabling environment for women, in all their diversity, to participate equitably in politics and public life produce more inclusive and effective policy outcomes, are more peaceful, have higher economic growth, and are more stable democracies.1,2 Nevertheless, research has found that the impact of investments in women’s leadership have been limited by insufficient collaboration and coordination among committed stakeholders, coupled with interventions that are often too short, too narrowly focused on skill building, too small in scale, and too under-resourced. The Network was formed to help bridge these gaps.

What will the Network do?

Formally launched at the second Summit for Democracy in March 2023, the overarching mission of the Network is to better align members’ efforts to amplify and advocate for gender inclusive democracy, including women’s leadership in politics and public life.

The Network has three primary goals:

  1. Coordination: Foster sustained and real-time dialogue among stakeholders, both at the headquarters and country level, in order to align strategic approaches, diplomatic outreach, and programming.
  2. Knowledge Management: Improve dissemination of strategies, tools, data, and learning across stakeholders in order to promote a shared understanding of the state of efforts and best practices to promote gender-inclusive democracy and advance women’s leadership in politics and public life.
  3. Advocacy: Serve as a platform to champion women’s political and civic leadership at the national, regional, and international levels for policy prioritization and resource allocations commensurate with the importance of this goal.

Who is part of the Network?

Please see below for a list of the initial Network members:

Intergovernmental institutions

  • Inter-American Commission of Women of the Organization of American States
  • International IDEA
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Open Government Partnership
  • UN Women

National governments

  • Australia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
    • United States Agency for International Development
    • United States Department of State

Civil society partners

  • Fundación Multitudes
  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems
  • International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network
  • National Democratic Institute
  • Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Researchers and academic institutions

  • Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
  • Mine the Gap
  • Mona Lena Krook of Rutgers University
  • Saskia Brechenmacher of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

For questions about the Network, please contact

1 Waylen, Georgina. 2014. “Strengthening women’s agency is crucial to underpinning representative institutions with strong foundations of participation.” Politics & Gender. 10(4): 495-523.

2 Summer Forester, Kaitlin Kelly-Thompson, Amber Lusvardi, S Laurel Weldon, New Dimensions of Global Feminist Influence: Tracking Feminist Mobilization Worldwide, 1975–2015, International Studies Quarterly, Volume 66, Issue 1, March 2022, sqab093,

democracy inclusive