A Message from the Executive Director, Dr. Dina Refki

Dina Refki, D.A.

What a milestone!  The 2012 election was a significant victory for women. It has brought the largest number of women ever to the 113th U.S. Congress.  For the first time, a total of 20 women (16D, 4R) will serve in the Senate, and a record 78 women (58D, 20R) will serve in the U.S. House. Women voters have proven that women are a formidable force. A powerful message was sent that issues of access to contraception, equal pay for equal work and the sanctity of the female body are as important as a vibrant economy. Women made a compelling statement that politicians who ignore women voters and the issues they care about do so at their own peril.  Let's keep the inspiration and momentum alive!

This year, we also celebrate another critical milestone - The Center for Women in Government & Civil Society's (CWGCS) turns 35. We celebrate 35 years of groundbreaking gender research and education. Since its inception in 1978, CWGCS has been relentlessly working to fill the knowledge gaps about the status of women, develop evidence based approaches to advance gender parity, strengthen system responsiveness, raise awareness about existing inequities, and deepen and broaden women's access to educational and economic opportunities. Our vision of a society free of gender inequities where women and men of all backgrounds participate equally in shaping the future remains at the center of everything we do.

As we salute the visionary leaders who founded the Center, and those who carried this vision forward for the last 35 years, let's remember that we all share a common dream. We dream of a day when there will be no need for the Center's work and when the Center closes its doors and becomes a page of history that has been turned forever. This is the dream that propels us forward every day. And we believe that it is within our grasp.

Until that day becomes a reality, we will continue to support and strengthen the next generation of women leaders locally and globally; keep the vision of balanced leadership on the front burner of public discourse; complete the public record on the status of women; inform decision makers on women's access to political and economic opportunities; and facilitate mainstreaming of evidence based gender-responsive approaches that transform institutions.

This 2012 election has reinvigorated and renewed our commitment. Our work must continue until women locally and globally, are equally represented in leadership, feel equally competent as their male counterparts in running for office, confident in their advancement in a ceiling free society, and assured of their access and success in any and all occupations.

Together, we can keep the momentum alive, and make our collective vision a reality.


Dina Refki, D.A.
Director, Center for Women in Government & Civil Society

The World Within Reach

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