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When women are empowered as political leaders, countries experience higher standards of living, and positive developments can be seen in education, infrastructure and health. Women’s participation positively affects communities, legislatures, political parties, and citizen’s lives, and helps democracy deliver. Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, once said “When one woman is a leader, it changes her. When more women are leaders, it changes politics and policies. ”
The pipeline for female leaders seems to be widening as women have made significant gains in the political arena. However, as of September 2016, 10 women are serving as Head of State and 9 are serving as Head of Government, representing solely 6,9% of all political leaders in the world (315 heads of state and heads of government). Women are still discriminated in law and practice, making their access and continuation in leadership positions a challenging ambition. Support networks, mentoring and trainings can help them to navigate complex, male-dominated political institutions and this thematic page seeks to document stories of women leaders and facilitate access to material that supports them in their political journey.