Women's Leadership

Women's Leadership

While there have been important advances in women’s leadership in politics, as of November 1 2017, women make up only 7.2% of Heads of State and 6.2% Heads of Government. Data on women representatives in local government, including as mayors, heads of villages and towns, is not well collected and analyzed. The adoption of an SDG indicator on women’s representation in local government is a great step forward in tracking progress on gender balance, allowing for the systematic collection and analysis of data on women in local government. Women’s access to and continued role in leadership positions is challenged by a range of barriers, including discriminatory laws and practices, as well as social norms that prescribe traditional roles and attitudes towards women’s participation in leadership and decision-making roles. Proactive gender-equality policies within political parties and local government structures, including quotas and special temporary measures, gender-sensitive approaches to electoral processes, support networks, mentoring, training, and engagement of male champions, can all help promote women’s role in political leadership.


50 Women who made American political history
The history of women in American politics is just as long as that of the nation as a whole. Even in the days before the Constitution guaranteed women the right to vote, many tried hard...
From where I stand: “They said that a woman couldn’t run for elections… I proved...
Coumba Diaw is the only female Mayor in the Louga region of Senegal. She grew up listening to a rhetoric that restricted women from participating in politics and public life. But that didn’t stop her...
Commonwealth produces checklist to support more women into politics
Experts from around the globe have discussed ways to support more women into politics during two significant events hosted by the Commonwealth.Parliamentarians, civil society bodies, election...
From where I stand: “Women have to be at the heart of the Africa of tomorrow”
Mehrezia Maïza Labidi chaired many of the plenary sessions that led to the birth of Tunisia’s new constitution, which includes a clause guaranteeing women’s rights. A vocal advocate for young women's...
President Bachelet of Chile is the last woman standing in the Americas
SANTIAGO, Chile — No one relished the milestone more than President Michelle Bachelet of Chile.For a few years, she and two other female leaders presided over much of South America, representing more...
Women’s political participation and representation in Côte d’Ivoire
By Maurice Mboula Jean-Claude Didier EnguelegueAs in most African countries, gender inequalities remain a major challenge to human development in Côte d’Ivoire. Though women’s and girls’ condition...
Meet the women shifting the political landscape in Japan
As a society bound by tradition, change comes slowly to Japan. That includes opportunities for women in politics and government.But lately there's been a shake-up of the old order, with women...
Armenian women take the political stage
By Karen Cirillo and Jodi HiltonIn the small village of Getik, Arpine Gyulumyan runs a bed and breakfast with her family. But she is also an engineer, a social worker, and a community...
New platform launched to galvanize and boost women’s leadership of Africa
Forum organized by African Union Commission and UN Women, with the support of Germany, outlines roadmap for women in governance, peace and security.(New York, 2 June)—UN Women, the African Union...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

UN Women
Shaping the International Agenda: Raising Women’s Voices in Intergovernmental Forums
Global Report on Gender Equality in Public Administration
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
Women in Conflict and Peace

Related Websites

Arab Women Legal e-Platform launched