Following years of democratic liberalisation after the early 90s, the authoritarian backlash is seemingly in full swing, imposing restrictions on civil society and individual rights in countries in every region of the world. For some groups, women most notably, access to political participation and rights has always faced constraints. WFD’s research in this area looks at the distribution of power, be it political, social, or financial; how political elites limit democratic space and access to politics to maintain existing power structures; and how democracy support actors can provide an effective counterbalance through their programmes.

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