The International Women’s Democracy Center was established in 1995 to strengthen women’s global leadership through training, education, networking and research with a focus on increasing the participation of women leaders in politics, policy and decision making within their own governments. By ensuring that women worldwide have the necessary tools and skills to participate in all levels of governance, IWDC’s commitment to work in partnership with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world responds to the increasing need of women leaders to acquire the technical skills and leadership tools so critical to their leadership roles in the new millennium.
Working in partnership with established NGOs and recognized community leaders around the world, IWDC provides the necessary training for women to increase their participation in local, state and national politics, policy and decision-making.
Through workshops facilitated in partnership with an established host country organization and conducted in the local language, women are taught how to run for elected office, how to advocate for issues, and campaign management combined with computer training, e-mail use and Internet access. An experienced group of trainers model and facilitate the workshop according to the existing system of government. IWDC facilitates a seminar for trainers in order to build technical capabilities in country.
IWDC was founded by Barbara Ferris, who has over twenty years of senior policy and program design experience in over 100 countries with an expertise in economic development, finance, equity and management. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco for two years and as the Women in Development Coordinator for the Peace Corps for five years.