Gender Equality and Rural Women’s Empowerment Network
Near East and North Africa Region

Meetings and Events

“Spring Forward for Women” Conference
From 5 November 2014 To 6 November 2014
International - Conference

The under-representation of women in the public sphere constitutes a serious hinder to the legitimacy of the contemporary democratic ideal. Parity democracy and the promotion of women in decisionmaking positions are therefore fundamental areas of action as underlined by international commitments, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action. However, in parliaments worldwide, women continue to be under-represented and numerous obstacles hinder their participation in politics including economic, political and socio-cultural factors. As of August 2014, the world average of women members of parliament (for both houses) is 21.9% .

Based on lessons identified in parliaments worldwide, among the key factors that contribute to enhancing women parliamentarians’ impact for gender equality are their abilities to network across party lines and with key stakeholders, including with their male colleagues and with the media. Other factors include effective communication skills, mentorship by more senior MPs, experience sharing and learning from women lawmakers from other countries and national, regional and international networks of support.