Women's Caucus

  • Democrats Abroad affirms the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women around the world, including the right to education, healthcare, legal protection and legal standing before the law, the right to physical and psychological safety, self-determination of reproductive rights and equality of opportunity and remuneration.

    Activism in Small, Medium and Large

    Opportunities to participate in our caucus are as varied as our members.

    There is no "one-size-fits-all" level of involvement.
    We also encourage membership by all genders because women's issues impact all of us.
    What our individual sections do depends very much on their size and location.

    Learn more...

    Statement of Purpose:

    The Women's Caucus of Democrats Abroad is committed to fostering and promoting gender-informed perspectives in issues analysis, communication and policy-making and ensuring that issues that impact women and the future of our nation become central to the political debate at all times and in particular during election years and at all levels of governance.  

    We will take action to address policies that negatively impact women and their families and so, by implication, the economy and our democracy.

    We propose to:

    • Act as disseminators of information  to  Caucus members and Democrats Abroad members at large, and as a catalyst to action on issues which affect American women both in the United States and internationally;
    • Ensure that the women’s perspective is effectively incorporated in all the work of Democrats Abroad, including issues advocacy, communication and GOTV strategy, planning and execution;
    • Stay current and ensure that issues and policies which impact women are discussed in the Caucus and by Democrats Abroad and included in the Democrats Abroad and Democratic Party platforms;
    • Promote Democratic Party candidates committed to policies that positively impact women’s lives;
    • Support Democratic Party candidates who are proposing to improve women’s standings and rights in society at every level, in their election campaigns for State and Federal Government positions and in their appointments to judgeships and high positions in Government offices and agencies;
    • Monitor and, with Democrats Abroad, lobby for or against legislation affecting women directly or indirectly;
    • Inform our communities of injustices against women in areas of civil rights, economic equality, health, and welfare;
    • Engage with other women’s caucuses for the purpose of information sharing, mentoring and maintaining solidarity; and
    • Make our voice heard nationally and internationally with members of women's groups and all groups fighting for justice, equality and the rule of law around the globe

    DA Women's Caucus Leadership:

    | DAF Vice Chair, Global Women's Caucus Co-Chair
    | Stuttgart Chapter Chair, Germany; Global Women's Caucus Co-Chair
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    Women's Policy in Japan

    Democrats around the world are gathering in Tokyo in May for our DA 2018 Global meeting.

    As we continue our series on women’s policy around the world, now is the perfect time to take a look at a country that is in the process of developing policy to address the issues of women in the workforce.

    By Nancy Coleman, Ph. D.

    The Japanese Government

    Emperor Akihito and his family

    Japan is a constitutional monarchy with the Emperor as the ceremonial head of state. The power of the Emperor is limited to duties such as appointing the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. But it is the legislature that makes the actual decision as to who will be PM, and the Cabinet actually designates the Chief Justice. Like other democracies, the Japanese government is divided into three branches, the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. The Cabinet, consisting of the Ministers of State and the Prime Minister, directs and controls the Government. The legislature is the National Diet, and it consists of two houses: the House of Councillors, the upper house, and the House of Representatives, the lower house.

    Despite the fact that the royals have little actual power, their symbolic impact is considerable. The present Emperor and Empress are Akihito and Michiko. Michiko was born a commoner, the first to marry into the Japanese imperial family, but her family was prominent and well off, and Michiko received an excellent education, studying in Tokyo, as well as at Harvard and Oxford. Akihito's mother strongly opposed the marriage, but the match had broad popular support. As Empress, Michiko has become the symbol of the modernization and democratization of Japan. The Empress is expected to embody traditional values such as modesty and purity. She is supposed to be the personification of an ideal Japanese woman, the epitome of pure, feminine beauty, called yamato nadeshiko. Michiko has been a dutiful exponent of these qualities, adding to her popularity. Even so, she has challenged some parts of the traditional role of Empress, breastfeeding her children and being more visible and accessible in her official duties.

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    International Women's Day Remarks

    International Chair Julia Bryan issued the following remarks for International Women’s Day 2018:

    Before I flew to Washington this week I hugged my daughter and said, “Stay strong, work hard, and treat your brother the way you’d like him to treat you.”

    Caroline’s fourteen, and already an ardent activist. In 2016, she saw Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as an “of course” moment. Of course there would be a woman president. Her world seemed equal, the past’s prejudices disappearing as the generations shifted.

    When Clinton lost the election, my daughter realized, as so many of us did, that we still had a lot of work to do.

    Today on International Women’s Day, I remember the numerous times women have been reminded that equality is not as near as we might believe. Think of Abigail Adams writing her husband in 1776, asking him to “remember the ladies” when he created our new nation’s code of laws. We know how well that turned out.

    And even Women’s Day, launched in 1909 to celebrate women and push for greater equality: It’s a bittersweet day as we reflect 109 years later that we still have a ways to go on that goal.

    So our “of course” moment has not yet arrived. Women must often work harder than men to earn less and run farther to get to the same place.

    But some things have changed. After Hillary’s loss in 2016, women didn’t just sit down again. They rose up and launched the persistence movement. This year thousands of women are running for office at all levels of government. Kathleen Matthews, chair of Maryland state party, says that women are both tremendously motivated to run and that organizations and parties are deliberately finding women candidates to run. The results are evident in every state election this midterm.

    That’s heartening news and a reminder that history is not a straight line. As President Obama said, it zigs and it zags.

    This is also true of our story. Today, as we remember the many zigs and zags of women’s empowerment in the US and around the world, I ask all of you who have joined the persistence movement to stay strong, work hard, and, as I told Caroline, treat your brother (and sister) the way you’d like to be treated yourself.

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