In February 2018, leaders from Ukraine will visit Northeast Florida and attend meetings aimed at encouraging women to get involved in politics through a professional program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. International participants will meet with women who currently hold office and are running in an effort to learn about the current climate of politics in Jacksonville and how women are taking an increasing role.
Women face unique challenges when trying to gain political representation in Ukraine. Since Ukrainian independence women have held less than 10 percent of the seats in political office in the country . According to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap report Ukraine places low on the list of countries promoting political and gender equality for women. Throughout this project, participants will meet with leaders involved in various areas of government and women’s movements or organizations. The goal of these meetings is to gain insight into women’s leadership in Jacksonville, learn about the experiences of women currently holding positions in politics, and cultivate women’s civic engagement.
While in Jacksonville, the participants from Ukraine will meet with several organizations and people to discuss different areas that can advance women’s engagement in politics. They will be meeting with representatives from Nine in 15, an organization that focuses on the lack of representation of women in politics, recruiting women locally, and training for women who are trying to run for office in Jacksonville. They will also get a chance to meet with leaders from Jacksonville’s Women’s March to speak about the purpose of this march—empowering women to foster social change—and how these women maintain lobbyist engagement in the political arena. Representatives from the Young Democrats and Northeast Florida Federated Republican Women will meet with the Ukraine representatives to discuss how they help inform the Jacksonville community of issues regarding women in politics and how they promote the need for further representation. Finally, the representatives from Ukraine will have a chance to meet with Anna Broshe to discuss how her status as a minority woman impacted her experience campaigning for City Council President.
Following their time spent in Jacksonville, the group will travel to Denver, Colorado and then Minneapolis, Minnesota to continue their political endeavors, which will supplement the experiences and meetings from northeast Florida.
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