A panel discussion in Washington, DC yesterday highlighted the peace-building efforts of four women from various developing countries. The women panelists are in the United States to participate in a program with the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), which teaches women leadership and coalition-building skills, and works to inspire women to run for office. The discussion was hosted by CEDPA and the Center for Women Policy Studies (CWPS) and the International Womens Media Foundation (IWMF).
Among those participating in the program is Srijana Arkhikar, the Joint General Secretary of the Nepal Student Union (NSU), an active student leaders organization consisting of more than one million students. She discussed her extensive experience in leading the nonviolent, Nepali youth underground movement, which resulted in her being arrested multiple times. Catherine Adifaka, the commissioner in the Solomon Islands Public Service Commission, spoke of the 26 women who ran for Parliament in 2006. While none of them won, she said the fact that women ran for election in her country was a victory in itself.