Women’s leadership and political participation

Women’s equal involvement and leadership in political and public life are critical to meeting the  Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) by 2030. However, studies reveal that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making globally, and that gender parity in political life is still a long way off.

Women’s leadership and political participation are limited at all levels, from the local to the global level. Women are underrepresented as voters and in positions of leadership, whether in elected government, civil service, the commercial sector, or academia. This is despite their demonstrated ability as change agents and leaders, as well as their entitlement to participate equally in democratic administration.

Women encounter various barriers to political participation. Women’s political participation is nevertheless hampered by structural hurdles such as discriminatory laws and institutions. Women are less likely than men to have the knowledge, contacts, and resources needed to become effective leaders due to capacity disparities.

In respect to the problems involving women’s leadership and political participation, UN Women’s leadership and participation programs are driven by a long history of international commitments to women’s representation. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women promotes women’s right to engage in public life, while the Beijing Platform for Action calls for barriers to equitable participation to be removed. The proportion of women in parliamentary seats is one of the ways the Millennium Development Goals track progress toward gender equality.(UN women, 2022)

To that aim, they offer training to female political candidates in order to assist them enhance their capacities, as well as voter and civic education and sensitization campaigns on gender equality. They support campaigners for gender equality in their demand on political parties, governments, and others to do their share to empower women. Other efforts urge young men and women to advocate for the inclusion of gender equality measures in public policymaking.(UN women, 2022)

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