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Parliaments & Representatives

TOKYO -- A study group headed by Mari Miura, a professor at Sophia University's Faculty of Law in Tokyo, with an objective to achieve gender equality in Japan from local levels, has compiled a Japanese gender gap index by prefecture. Using the same method as the global gender gap index, the group collects data on women's participation in local politics, economy, education and administration. Based on the latest data for the year 2023, the Mainichi Shimbun looked into factors contributing to gender inequality across Japan and efforts to tackle the issue.

Tomoko Kogoshi, 60, served as a Yamanashi Prefectural Assembly member for four terms spanning 16 years and retired in spring 2023. For the latter half of her time in the prefectural assembly, she was the only female member.

Click here to read the full article published by The Mainichi on 19 February 2024.

Image source: The Mainichi

The Ministry of Women in Solomon Islands is looking at new legislation which could guarantee extra seats for women in provincial assemblies.

The SIBC reports in the 45 years of independent governance, 16 women have been voted into Provincial Assemblies and six into Parliament.

Endorsed in December by the now caretaker government, the proposed amendment would establish temporary special measures (TSM) to guarantee additional seats for women in Provincial Assemblies.

The TSM endorsement by Cabinet was the result of approximately six years of work led by several ministries and partner organisations including; Women's Rights Action Movement (WRAM), Solomon Islands National Council of Women (SINCW) and the Honiara City Council (HCC), the SIBC reported.

Click here to read the full article published by RNZ on 13 February 2024.

Image source: RNZ

With the Women’s Reservation Bill being passed in Parliament last year, the debate on whether quota within political parties or in Parliament and State Assemblies may be the best route for increasing women’s representation in politics seems to have come to an end. The Assembly elections in Rajasthan showed that the only way for increasing women’s political participation seems to be to provide them reservation in Parliament and State Assemblies. In the elections, the women candidates of both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) put up dismal performances.

Click here to read the full article published by The Hindu on 12 February 2024.

Image source: The Hindu

CRRC Georgia surveyed the Georgian public on attitudes towards gender equality in politics and obstacles faced by women in politics in Georgia. 

Gender equality in politics is an important issue globally, and Georgian policy on the issue has been developing in recent years. Georgia introduced mandatory gender quotas for proportional party lists in 2020, extending this provision until 2032. The legislation stipulates that at least one out of four candidates submitted to the Central Election Commission, and provides financial support to parties that nominate more women. 

Despite these policy changes, much remains to be done to ensure gender equality in practice. In the 2020 parliamentary elections, only three political parties and one electoral bloc benefited from the financial incentive mechanism for nominating more female candidates than the mandatory gender quotas required. A study on mandatory gender quotas in Georgia found that in 2022, women still made up only 19% of Georgia’s parliament. 

Click here to read the full article published by the OC Media on 6 February 2024.

Image source: OC Media

You might be mistaken for thinking you’d stepped into the Tardis and been transported back in time 20 years upon seeing two of the headlines from around the world this week.

In one, Japan’s foreign minister was told by the country’s former PM that she “wasn’t that good looking” (he also got her name wrong several times and threw in an ageist slur for good measure). In another, a news channel ran an image of a female Australian MP that had been photoshopped to make her breasts look bigger and her outfit more revealing.

Both are grim examples of the way sexism still permeates through our political systems, even in so-called “developed” countries – but the second story made me physically gasp. In the year of our Lord 2024, how on earth are we still seeing women in politics being subject to this kind of degradation? And what could possibly be the thinking behind augmenting an MP’s chest for a news bulletin on duck hunting?

Click here to read the full article published by The Independent on 31 January 2023.

Image source: The Independent

Women in Sri Lanka face serious barriers to political representation and the country ranks among the lowest in the world for the percentage of women in national legislatures. After the parliamentary elections in 2020, there were just over five percent of elected women representatives in parliament.

Underrepresentation of women occurs at each level of elected leaders at national, provincial and local government level due to a variety of systemic and institutional obstacles.

In 2016, through the Local Authorities (Amendment) Act, a 25 percent quota was mandated for women and implemented through the Local Authorities Elections Act of 2017. The quota increased women’s representation in local authorities from two percent to nearly 23 percent.

Click here to read the full article published by Ground Views on 31 January 2023.

A Qualitative Study on Violence against Women in Politics in Türkiye, prepared in cooperation with UN Women and Terra Development Cooperative, was introduced at an event organized in Ankara. A qualitative study, which provides important findings on the causes, occurrence, and consequences of violence against women in politics, was presented to the representatives from civil society organizations, public institutions, local governments, and political parties.

The Study on Violence against Women in Politics in Türkiye, which was started to be prepared by Prof. Dr. İknur Yüksel Kaptanoğlu, Project Coordinator of Terra Development Cooperative, together with her study team in 2022, was carried out within the scope of the project "Advancing Gender Equality and Women's Leadership in Political and Business Life” implemented by UN Women and financially supported by the Sweden through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). In her opening speech, Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Malena Mård emphasized the importance of a political environment free from all forms of violence, especially for young people.

Click here to read the full report published by UN Women on 10 January 2024.

A Glimpse into the Life of a Women in Politics: CEMR Unveils First Data Coming from 31 Countries

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) has released the first infographics showcasing critical insights from their latest report, "Women in Politics."
The data offer a visual snapshot of the representation of women in elected roles across various subnational levels. Additionally, a detailed breakdown of their portfolios at the local level is provided. The second slide of the infographics unveils the results of an anonymous CEMR survey involving 2,424 participants from 31 countries. Focused on elected women in local and regional European roles, the survey explores their experiences of violence in the political realm.

Click here to see the infographic published by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions on 14 December 2023.

For a country with a significant female population, Nigeria has been poor in ensuring gender parity in elected and appointed leadership positions. Since 1979, the country has practiced a presidential form of government, with a devolved form of government across three tiers—federal, state and local levels. Yet, despite the number of elective constituencies available, there has been little to no women elected to these positions. Nigeria has never elected a female president, vice-president or a governor in any of its thirty-six states. Women elected to the national legislature have been a scant percentage in any of the ten constituted sessions of either chamber, with none emerging as president of the senate and a roughly five-month stint for the only woman to emerge speaker of the house of representatives (Polgreen, 2007).

Click here to read the full report published by the Centre for Democracy and Development on 27 November 2023.

Are the preferences of women and men unequally represented in public policies? This simple yet fundamental question has remained largely unexplored in the fast-growing fields of women’s representation and inequality in the opinion-policy link. Our study analyzes gender biases in policy representation using an original dataset covering 43 countries and four decades, with citizens’ preferences regarding more than 4,000 country-year policies linked to information about actual policy change. Our analysis reveals clear and robust evidence that women’s policy preferences are underrepresented compared to those of men. While this skew is fairly modest in terms of congruence, women’s representation is driven mostly by the high correlation of preferences with men. When there is disagreement, policy is more likely to align with men’s preferences. Our analyses further suggest that women’s substantive underrepresentation is mitigated in contexts with high levels of female descriptive representation and labor market participation. In sum, our study shows that gender inequality extends to the important realm of policy representation, but there is also meaningful variation in unequal representation across contexts.

Click here to read the full article published by the Cambridge University Press on 26 October 2023.

Women’s Collective Ireland – Limerick are delighted to launch their new report Addressing Sexism in Politics: Creating Safe, Inclusive and Accessible Political Spaces for Everyday Women, this report is a collaboration between Women’s Collective Ireland – Limerick and TUS research group EDGE.

Since 2019, WCI Limerick has been working specifically to strengthen and increase women’s participation and representation in local politics. In that time, they have worked with over 150 women and were instrumental in the establishment of the Limerick Women’s Caucus, the first of its kind a local level in the country. This work and the feedback they have been receiving from women led them to draft this report.

Click here to read the full report published by the Women's Collective Ireland – Limerick on 17 October 2023.

Independent states in the Pacific region have the lowest levels of women’s political representation in the world. Fewer than seven percent of Pacific politicians are women, compared to 27 percent globally. The absence of women’s voices in political decision-making has been an issue consistently raised in regional forums, although progress has been slow. Yet in November 2022, a milestone was reached: for the first time, there was at least one elected woman in every Pacific parliament.

Click here to read the full article published by the Australian Institute of International Affairs on 17 October 2023.