Religion and Democratic Participation Lecture

"The Role of Religion in Empowering Women's Democratic Participation"

Vasu Mohan (International Foundation for Electoral Systems)

Monday, November 12th
Noon in Eliot House


Vasu Mohan, of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, will describe his work with IFES in India and Afghanistan, where IFES helped to build coalitions for women's empowerment and gender equality with religious leaders and communities.

One of these experience is from Rajasthan, India, where community-based work with Jain, Sikh and some Hindu communities led to a movement against female feticide (sex selection) which eventually contributed to an increase in the number of girl children born, according to the last census.

In India, work in the Muslim community led to over 30,000 women and men, boys and girls learning about women's rights in the Quran and Indian law.  Thousands formed women's support groups, and hundreds of community leaders - religious leaders, academicians, activists and lawyers, lent their support to women's empowerment.

Vasu Mohan is Deputy Director for Europe and Asia at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.  IFES supports citizens' rights to participate in free and fair elections and its independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions.  IFES advances good governance and democratic rights by: providing technical assistance to election officials, empowering the under-represented to participate in the political process, and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle.

More information about IFES at their website.