NWI Second International Conference - Women Redefining Democracy for Peace, Justice and Equality

Location: 10-12 May 2009
Dates: Antigua, Guatemala


This three-day strategy meeting (including panel discussions) with more than 100 women rights activists, researchers, journalists, politicians, and key policymakers from six continents to examine the challenges of democracy and democratization through the lens of women’s experiences. Specific issues included: conflict, post-conflict and militarization, violence against women (state and domestic) and women’s political participation and representation.

Conference goals

  • Highlight women’s representation, participation and rights in democracy and democratization;
  • Develop fresh perspectives and practical alternatives for reclaiming and reshaping democracy;
  • Share experiences, challenges and perspectives of deepening democracy; and,
  • Develop new alliances between women and organizations working to strengthen democracy.

Declaration of the Nobel Women’s Initiative Conference on Women Redefining Democracy:

“We call upon all states and multilateral institutions to recognize that the democratization process is incomplete and does not end with elections.  No country or society can claim to be democratic when the women who form half its citizens are denied their right to life, to their human rights and entitlements, and to safety and security.  Despite this, we women have made extraordinary efforts to democratize the institutions of society that frame our lives and the well-being of all humanity – the family, the community, clan, tribe, ethnic or religious group, political, legal, economic, social and cultural structures, and the media and communications systems.  But our search for justice is continually overwhelmed by the violence perpetrated upon us, by the exploitation and colonization of our bodies, our labor, and our lands; by militarization, war and civil conflict; by persistent and increasing poverty; and by environmental degradation.  All of these forces affect us, and our children, far more severely and in unique ways.  We know that democracy that comes from the heart is not the rule of the majority, but safeguards dissent and difference with equal rights, and fosters a culture of peace.  We are in search of democracy that transforms not just our lives, but all society – and we will not be silenced until it is achieved in every part of the world.”


Mairead Maguire
Jody Williams
Shirin Ebadi
Rigoberta Menchú Tum


Rigoberta Menchú Tum foundation (FRMT) – Local host
Just Associates (JASS) – a global network working 25 countries to strengthen women’s organizing power.

Find out more

Conference Report

Women Redefining democracy for peace, justice and equality (pdf), November 2009

Final Conference Statements

‘Real’ democracy guarantees equal rights, security & peace (pdf) (13 May 2009)

Final Conference Video

Women Redefining Democracy Conference


Getting ready for the conference – arrival in Antigua

Rigoberta Menchu Tum opens the conference

Day 1: Delegate reflections

Day 1: Mairead Maguire closing remarks

Day 2: Delegate reflections

Day 2: Jody Williams closing remarks