Grassroots women’s leadership is important if democracy is to be ‘deepened’ – that is, if representative democracies are to formally include citizen participation in more ways than simply voting in elections. One approach to deepening democracy is to encourage and support spaces – both literal and metaphorical – that enable grassroots women to organise as leaders and engage with local government to achieve change in their communities. This, it is hoped, will enable women to develop ongoing relationships with local government and achieve concrete improvements for their communities.
The Huairou Commission and GROOTS International have developed an approach which helps grassroots women’s organisations to do this. This article examines how grassroots women’s organisations in Uganda, Kenya, and Russia have successfully adapted the Local to Local Dialogue method to their local contexts, empowering and recognising poor women as community leaders.
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