3/30/2016 Show 2- International Republican Institute- Ramsey Day, Country Director, Jordan & Valerie Dowling, Director, Women’s Democracy Network

International Dialogues Radio, Islam, Jordan, Women in Leadership

On Wsradio.com: http://wsradio.com/033016-international-republican-institute-ramsey-day-country-director-jordan-valerie-dowling-director-womens-democracy-network/

Segment 1

Women in Leadership.  Jordan.  Ramsey Day,  Country Director-Jordan, IRI

Ramsey Day has served as the Country Director for the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Amman, Jordan since 2014. His U.S. government service includes serving as the Country Representative for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Montenegro as well as the Chief of Public Liaison and the Chief of Staff for the USAID Europe and Eurasia Bureau in Washington, D.C. He has also represented the White House on official delegations of the President and the Vice President to over 20 countries.  Mr. Day has held senior positions on numerous domestic political campaigns, including the 2004 George W. Bush re-election campaign and the 2012 Romney presidential campaign, as well as advisory roles for various international campaigns including Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. Prior to his public sector service, he worked for CNN and Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, Georgia and in New York leading the multi-media marketing efforts at Rainbow Media Inc. Mr. Day holds a B.A. from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in International/Global Affairs from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He currently lives in Amman, Jordan.

Mr. Day gives a short description of IRI, a nonprofit and non-partisan organization (despite its name), founded, together with three other institutions, in 1983, at the request of President Reagan…(See: http://www.iri.org/who-we-are), “to assist people around the world who want freedom and democracy.” Mr. Day speaks of Jordan, “a country of 9 million people… which changed in 1921…transitioning from a tribal, Bedouin-Nomadic society to a more modern one..” (see: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html)  Mr. Day describes the composition of the country’s government,  a Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliament, a House of Representatives and Senate… Jordan is divided, administratively into  12 provinces (or governorates) with governors appointed by the King,  and 99 municipalities, with  Mayors (subject to elections since 2013.) Mr. Day speaks  of the social structure, of tribalism and tradition; for example,  what is known as “wasta” ( …”nepotism or ‘clout‘ or ‘who you know’. It refers to using one’s connections and/or influence to get things done)… Mr. Day speaks of IRI’s work with  local municipalities, to help “empower” women, to train them to become involved in their communities… and overcome… “traditional” obstacles… (Only 22% of the women in Jordan are in the labor force compared to 87% of men

 

Segment 2

Empower Initiative.  Jordan. Ramsey Day, Country Director, Jordan, IRI

Mr. Day explains the women’s program “Empower Initiative,”…. unique to Jordan which could be replicated in other countries.”  The program consists of going to municipalities (four, at a time) locating women volunteers (350 participants, so far) and providing them with the tools and  training necessary   to participate in politics, and assume civic responsibilities… within their communities…Mr. Day comments on the successes of the program, helping “change the (traditional) mind-set,” and positively  impacting society… In time,  these women also …becoming “mentors to others…”  (See: http://www.democracyspeaks.org/blog/empower-series-rana-ngheimesh)

 

 

Segment 3

Women in Leadership. Women’s Democracy Network.  Valerie Dowling, Director, WND, IRI

“Valerie Dowling has worked in the political process from grassroots campaigns to the White House. In January, she joined the International Republican Institute as Director of the Women’s Democracy Network where she will continue to work to increase women’s political participation, leadership and representation in elected office globally.  In her previous role, Valerie worked at the Republican National Committee in the Office of the Co-Chairman as the Director of Women’s Programs and was focused on creating programming to engage more women in the Republican Party.”  More

Ms. Dowling speaks of the Women’s Democracy Network,  origins, history and mission.., “a network of  women in 61 countries with 14 chapters worldwide… bringing them together under one umbrella…”  What sets WDN Country Chapters apart from other women’s organizations in their countries?  … membership is multi-sector and multi-partisan.” Ms. Dowling gives examples of how the programs work/worked… in Bangladesh, the focus  was on “economic empowerment….,”and cites the  collaboration  with  Selima Ahmad, founder and former president of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry … and in Peru where  the focus is/was on education, employment, human rights…, resulting in changes in legislation…

(See: http://www.iri.org/sit es/default/files/fields/field_files_attached/resource/2015-12-01_legislative_change_agents_building_multi-partisan_caucuses-the_somaliland_and_peru_case_studies.pdf)

 

Segment 4

Women in Leadership.  Women’s Democracy Network. Valerie Dowling, Director, WND, IRI

Women, agents of change…in their communities, in their countries… Ms. Dowling concludes the interview by speaking of  Wided Bouchamaoui, recipient of WND’s Jean J. Kirkpatrick Award.  As Ms. Dowling explains and as described on website, … “Wided Bouchamaoui is the first female president of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA). In 2013 Bouchamaoui, along with the heads of three other organizations, formed the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet … The quartet was instrumental in bridging the divide between Islamists and secularists and sparing Tunisia from a violent and turbulent transition in the wake of its Jasmine Revolution. In 2015 Bouchamaoui and the quartet were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work. She has also received the highest recognition in Tunisia, the Grand Officer of the Order of the Republic First Class as well as the Legion d’honneur from France and the Royal Honor of the Polar Star from Sweden….”  Ms. Dowling speaks of  WND’s 10th Anniversary and the plans to celebrate the program by honoring ten women leaders throughout the world… Ms. Dowling also speaks of her personal experience in grassroots campaigning with women in the US… and how important it is to engage women at all levels-here and overseas…

.