Local political leaders meet with Ukrainian women as they learn about engaging citizens in democracy.

Local political leaders meet with Ukrainian women as they learn about engaging citizens in democracy.

Description: The Women’s Leadership project assists women in developing the interest and skills necessary to succeed as full participants within all levels of government, both elected and appointed. Additionally, the project presents programs and opportunities to support and encourage women in leadership.

Project Contact:  Julie Warm, 816.235.5371, warmj@umkc.edu


Core Functions

Applied Research:
The Women’s Leadership project examines the role of women in civic life.

Community Services and Supports: This project promotes engagement, particularly of women, in civic life.  The project accomplishes its mission by presenting the skills and knowledge necessary to participate in democracy.  Illustrative services include a non-residential summer camp to train middle school girls to run for student council, non-partisan political training, and training of women lawyers with judicial aspirations.

Information Dissemination: The project staff promote and inform about the role of women in leadership through classes, public speaking, conversations, and more.


Program Need and Historical Context

Even though women represent 50 percent of the population, they are under-represented at all levels of public-policy making. In terms of service in the national legislature (i.e. Congress), the United States ranks 57th in the world in the percentage of women  following such countries as Rwanda, Cuba, Costa Rica, Argentina, Mozambique, and Bulgaria. At the national level, 18% of the state governors, 13 percent of the big city mayors, and 23 percent of state legislators are women.


Consumer and Community Involvement

All projects are conducted in partnership with key stakeholders and collaborators.


Significant Project Activities and Outcomes

  • In two years, Madam President Camp has grown from one week to three weeks.
  • This project has developed a multi-year strategic and business plan to guide it as it develops.


Institute’s Role

  • IHD staff manages all aspects of this work.



System: The inclusion of women in all aspects of public life will improve the quality of public policy by increasing diverse point of view and effectively utilizing women’s unique strengths.