Women’s Political Participation & Decision-Making Power is Essential to Creating a Gender Equal World
We believe that paving the way for women to participate in political, business, and civic arenas is an investment in more equitable, just, and peaceful societies. Women’s voices must not only be present — but heard — in the political processes that affect them.
There are currently 15 female heads of state or government in office, eight of which are their country’s first ever woman in power. While this number has nearly doubled since 2000, these leaders still represent fewer than 10-percent of the 193 UN member states. Worldwide, women represent only 23-percent of parliamentarians and 18.3-percent of ministers.
Involving women in political processes is beneficial for all. Women in positions of authority tend to allocate more budget to health and education, champion social issues, and resolve national crises without resorting to violence. In fact, when women are at negotiation tables, peace lasts longer.
The world is at a pivotal moment. Whether on screen, in the workplace, or at the dinner table — gender equality is in the global spotlight. Women-led movements are advancing an agenda focused on increasing equality and dismantling harmful gender norms. To truly move the needle forward for girls and women, we must capitalize on this momentum and secure our place at the decision-making table.
At Women Deliver, we are advocating for solutions that focus on meaningfully engaging women in politics and fostering political, business, and civic environments that are committed to advancing gender equality. These solutions include:
1. Temporary quota systems to help bring women into political spheres
2. Civic leadership and political engagement training for women and young people
3. Women’s participation during humanitarian crises, conflict prevention, and peace-building processes
4. Political environments that are free from discrimination and violence
We know that gender equality is a proven strategy for progress. When we invest in girls and women, it creates a ripple effect that yields multiple benefits, not only for individual women, but also for families, communities, and countries. Research suggests that gender balance in the political sphere promotes gender balance in the workforce, which overall, could double global GDP growth by 2025.
This approach to women’s political participation is not only about women, because gender equality is not solely a women’s issue. True gender equality enables all people to reach their full potential, and therefore, requires the support and commitment of both men and women. Furthermore, gender equality requires a commitment from every leader, at every level of power, in every sector.
From governments to businesses, healthcare to education, we need to examine the structures that contribute to gender norms as a whole. This is not simply about promoting gender diversity within them, but understanding the ways in which all sectors carry a responsibility in how they shape an individual’s life and experience.
The investments required to achieve gender equality are significant, but the reward is bigger: improved health outcomes, a stronger social fabric, economic gains, and most importantly, honoring the inherent potential of every human.