The garden of democracy

Abstract flowers on dark blue background

The garden of democracy

When democracy thrives, it provides for the people and the planet. But when it withers and dies, people cannot benefit from freedom and prosperity. Currently, democracy is under threat: authoritarianism is on the advance and global levels of democracy have been in decline for 17 years.
Democracy does not thrive on its own. We must constantly nurture it around the world.
Read on to find out why this matters and how you can get involved. 
Group of people representing Kenya Inclusive Political Parties programme

Democracy is a problem solving system

From inequality to climate change, societies face many complex problems that need local, national, and global solutions. Whatever the challenge, it is how we work together that makes the difference.

That is why we need accountable, inclusive, and open political systems that challenge the abuse of power and support the rule of law. Strong democracies solve real-world problems – they nurture good ideas, address citizens’ demands, and cooperate with global allies.

Photo of meeting at Verkhova Radna
Democracy is

Supporting freedom under attack in Ukraine

WFD supported various committees and individual members of the Ukrainian Parliament to scrutinise government and law during the conflict, through post-legislative scrutiny and other mechanisms.

Indonesian MPs at the Green Economy White Paper Launch
Democracy is

Raising climate action up the agenda in Indonesia

WFD supported the parliament as it introduced a Climate Change Bill which seeks to strengthen climate governance and mobilise adequate resources for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

A woman standing next to a flip chart with writing in local language
Democracy is

Helping entrepreneurs to start small businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina

WFD supported young women politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina through networking and mentoring, as well as professional development. Following the programme, participants were at the forefront of a variety of changes and initiatives to benefit the whole of society.

A group of CSO representatives gathered around a table at a training workshop
Democracy is

Securing peace in Bangsamoro

WFD is also supporting the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to create a devolved parliamentary system of government; ensure the new politics of the region includes everyone; and ensure that Bangsamoro women and other minority groups have a political voice and meaningful representation.

Abstract graphic image of mountains and flowers on green background

Democracy is intertwined with tackling climate change

Increased participation of all people in decision-making and strong environmental rule of law are crucial to delivering action on climate change. And, action on climate change is vital to stopping the destabilisation of democracies.

WFD works with local partners to address the urgency of the climate crisis in a way that facilitates ambitious action and includes everyone. Our work in environmental democracy also looks beyond the immediate crisis to the long-term benefits that come with a system that is transparent, incorporates public participation, and allows for justice and accountability.

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Democracy is sustained by light

People need access to good information. Moreover, good information is crucial to effective governance. And, scrutinising government action helps improve outcomes for society and identify lessons to be learned when things go wrong.

Accountability and transparency build trust and stability. Trust and stability are crucial to peace. That is why WFD is working around the world to shine a light on decision making for the benefit of all people.

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Democracy is the right to have your say

Free and fair elections are the basic framework for a healthy democracy. They are how all people have a chance to influence the future of their society and hold their leaders to account.

A credible electoral process is essential for trust, stability, and peace.

WFD supports electoral integrity around the world by encouraging reforms, organising election observation, and conducting research on electoral reform.

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Democracy is rooted in participation

Democracies are stronger when everyone participates and all voices are heard – including groups that are underrepresented, such as young people, LGBT+ people, and people with disabilities. 

Politics has to manage conflicts and trade-offs. That is why inclusive and effective democracies are better at delivering services fairly, and investing in a future where everyone benefits. WFD strives towards a world in which decision-making includes everyone.

Only when all people are represented can democracy live up to its name.

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Democracy thrives when women thrive

There is a direct correlation between the status and safety of women in a country and the state of its governance.

When women equally participate in decision-making, their joint influence on policy priorities means less corruption and conflict, better education and health outcomes, and greater opportunities for all. That is why we work to support women’s political leadership.

Democracy needs all of us

The UK has a role to play in strengthening democracy around the world.

Woman speaking through a microphone