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WOMEN IN POLITICS

OVERVIEW
Gender, Women and Politics

The National Democratic Institute


INTRODUCTIONS/
GROUND RULES
• Introductions
• Ground Rules
• Ice Breaker Exercise
WOMEN IN POLITICS OVERVIEW
OBJECTIVES
• Understand the need for women’s
political participation and the related
legal framework within global, regional
and country-specific contexts

Photo: AFP/Getty Images


WOMEN IN POLITICS TOPICS
• Women’s political participation: history
and trends
• Benefits
• Obstacles
• Minimum conditions
• International/regional/national
frameworks
• Impact of women's participation
• Resources
KEY TERMS
• Empowerment
• Gender equality
• Critical mass
• Quota Photo: Katie Croake, NDI

• First past the post (FPTP)


• Proportional representation (PR)
• Transparency
• Caucus
OVERALL GLOBAL TRENDS
Reaching parity in primary education
but…

• 2/3 of illiterate adults are women


• Women’s wages are 70-90% those of
men
• Women spend at least twice as much
time as men on domestic work
OVERALL GLOBAL TRENDS

• Rates of physical violence vary from


several percent to over 59%
• Gender digital divide
• Women more likely to live in poverty
EXERCISE
Women in Politics Quiz

Photo: www.suffrage-centenniel.org
HISTORY OF WOMEN’S
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
• Right to stand for election
 US (1788)
• Right to vote
 New Zealand (1893)
• First parliamentarians
 Finland (1907)
• First head of state
 Mongolia (1953)
WOMEN IN POLITICS: GLOBAL
TRENDS
• Women in parliament: 20.3%
 Rwanda: 56.3%
• 33 parliamentary lower chambers with
30% or more women
• Presiding officers: 15.1%
• 7 countries: no women
• 16.7% of ministerial posts
Photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Images

• 17 heads of government
REGIONAL TRENDS
Rank Lower Upper
• Kosovo 24 31.8%
• Macedonia 26 30.9%
• Serbia 56 22%
• Bulgaria 61 20.8%
• Slovakia 80 16%
• Romania 103 11.2% 5.9%
REGIONAL QUOTAS
Country Quota System

Kosovo 30%-N Open PR, every 3rd


Macedonia 30%-N,L Closed PR, every 3rd
Serbia 30%-N, L PR, every 4th
Bulgaria FPTP/PR
Slovakia PR
Romania MMP
LOCAL TRENDS
• 1935: women’s political rights
recognized
• Advances in parliament: from
9% to 14%
• 1 parliamentary committee
chair
• 1 of 26 ministries headed by a woman
• Men hold 82% of executive positions
EXERCISE
Brainstorm: Why women?

Photo: NDI
WOMEN’S POLITICAL
PARTICIPATION: BENEFITS
• Higher standards of living
• Concerns of marginalized voters
represented
• Collaborative leadership styles
• Work across party lines
• Peace building
• Better decisions
BENEFITS
“Success without democracy is
improbable. Democracy without women
is impossible.”

“The political participation of women


results in tangible gains for democracy,
including greater responsiveness to
citizen needs, increased cooperation
across party and ethnic lines, and more
sustainable peace.”
- Madeleine K. Albright
WOMEN IN POLITICS: VOTERS
• Fundamental right
• Barriers
• Voter and civic education
• When women vote, women win

Photo: NDI
WOMEN IN POLITICAL PARTIES
• Importance of women as party
members and leaders
• Benefits to the party
• Women’s wings

Photo: Amy Hamelin, NDI


WOMEN IN CIVIL SOCIETY
• Women as agents of change

Photo: NDI
EXERCISE
Women’s political participation:
identifying helping and hindering forces

Image: Inter-parliamentary Union


OBSTACLES TO WOMEN’S
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
• Structural
– Legal
– Economic
– Educational
• Social/cultural/religious
• Time and space
• Physical security
• Lack of confidence
MINIMUM CONDITIONS FOR
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
• Access to positions
of power
• Transparency
• Changing cultural
norms
• Women’s economic
empowerment
Photo: Amy Hamelin, NDI

• Political will
MINIMUM CONDITIONS
• Voice
– Empowerment
– Critical mass
• Access
– Representative resources
– Material and economic resources
– Democratic/cultural space
– Information – gender-disaggregated
• Capacity
GOALS

We want MORE:
• (informed) women voters
• women party leaders Photo: Washington Post

• elected women at all levels


• effective women leaders
• inclusive party platforms
• inclusive public policy
GLOBAL FRAMEWORKS
• CEDAW (1979)
– International bill of rights for women
– Defines discrimination
– States commit to end discrimination

• Beijing Platform for Action (1995)


– Agenda for women's empowerment
– Aims to remove obstacles to women's
active participation
GLOBAL FRAMEWORKS
• Millennium Development Goals (2001)
– promote gender equality and
empower women
• UN Security Council Resolutions
– 1325: Women’s participation in peace
negotiations and reconstruction
– Subsequent Resolutions: 1820,1888,
1889 and 1960
REGIONAL AND NATIONAL
FRAMEWORKS
• Regional
– Southern African Development Community
Protocol on Gender and Development
(2008)
– African Union Protocol on the Rights of
Women (2003)

• National
– National Policy Framework for Women’s
Empowerment and Gender Equality
DONOR POLICIES
• US Agency for International
Development (USAID)
• SIDA, CIDA, DIFD
• European Union
• World Bank
MOBILIZING WOMEN FOR
CHANGE: MECHANISMS
• Women’s parliamentary caucuses
• Women’s wings within political parties
• Civil society organizations
• Cross-sector groups

Photo: NDI
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER
• Albania: Equality in Decision Making
o Multi-partisan network
o Awareness raising campaign on domestic
violence
o Lobbying campaign on women’s economic
empowerment

Photo: NDI
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER
• Burkina Faso: CEDAW Coalition
o 17 women’s NGOs
o First CEDAW shadow report produced by
coalition

Photo: NDI
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER
• Iraq National Women’s Platform
o Multi-partisan and multi-sector
o Identified critical issues and policy
solutions
o Used platform to coordinate advocacy and
legislative initiatives
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER
• Macedonia: Women’s Parliamentary
Club
o Advocated for establishment of quota
o Lobbied for adoption of Protocol on Human
Trafficking
o Proposed amendment on funding for
domestic violence
NDI RESOURCES
• iKNOW Politics: www.iknowpolitics.org
• Win with Women Global Action Plan
• Political Party Assessment Tool
• Empowering Women for Stronger
Political Parties
• Democracy and the Challenge of
Change
WOMEN AND POLITICS REVIEW
• Women’s participation
 Recent development
 Numbers growing but not quickly
• Brings benefits
• Faces obstacles
• International/regional/national
frameworks
• Women working together make a
difference