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In the words of Sandra Moran: “Being the first openly lesbian Congresswoman in Guatemala has been a big responsibility”

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sandra Moran is Guatemala’s first openly lesbian member of the Congress. She organized the country’s first lesbian group in 1995, and was elected in 2015. She is well-known for her vocal support for women’s rights, indigenous women’s rights and LGBT rights in Guatemala. More

Women Working Together for the Africa We Want: African Women Leaders Network convene for a second forum

Monday, April 23, 2018

The “Second Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation” of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) will run from 24 to 26 April at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, under the theme, “Women Working Together for the Africa We Want: From Commitment to Action”. More

Op-ed: Closing the gender gap in politics

Monday, April 16, 2018

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, calls on Commonwealth countries to make democracy more democratic by ensuring that women can participate freely, fairly and safely in elections and politics. More

In the words of Blessing Ihauku Daru: “Women need to be in the corridors of power and politics”

Monday, April 9, 2018

Blessing Ihuaku Duru is a Programme Manager with Alliances for Africa (AfA), a non-governmental organization working in the south-east region of Nigeria, to promote gender justice, participation of women in leadership and in peace, security and conflict resolution. With support from UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, AfA is implementing a project to bridge the gender gap in elected public positions. They are working with the Government, political parties and women leaders to pass a bill that will provide for an affirmative action to ensure a minimum of 35 per cent of women’s representation in governance. Ms. Duru spoke to UN Women when she attended the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. More

In the words of Lilian Soto: “The presence of diverse women in politics generates different kinds of public policies”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Lilian Soto is a Project Coordinator at the Centro de Documentación y Estudios (CDE) in Paraguay, a non-governmental organization supported by UN Women Fund for Gender Equality, working to promote human rights and social transformation. Ms. Soto was also councilwoman for Asuncion – the capital of Paraguay - from 1991 to 2000, and continues to participate in politics in the socialist, feminist and environmentalist political movement “Kuña Pyrenda”, which means “place where women put their feet” in the local language. She and her organization were behind the law on democratic parity pending before the Chamber of Deputies. More

Women’s leadership, the missing ingredient for peace in Thailand’s southern border provinces

Friday, March 2, 2018

Patimoh Sadiyamu, 52, is from an impoverished rural area in Thailand, where Muslim women hardly stepped outside their homes. But with the help of education and support from her parents, she became the first woman to hold the position of provincial governor in Thailand’s southern border provinces of Narathiwat, and strongly believes that women’s participation in the peace process is imperative. This is also the premise of a UN Women’s programme “Empowering women leaders and young people to build resilient, cohesive and peaceful communities in the southern border provinces of Thailand”. More

Take Five: It’s a matter of justice—50/50 gender parity in political parties

Monday, November 6, 2017

Congresswoman Gloria Reyes is a strong advocate for increasing women’s political participation and recently backed a law against child marriage in the Dominican Republic. She participated in a regional forum organized by UN Women from 9 to 11 of October, focusing on abolishing child marriage in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Earlier this year, a number of Central American and Caribbean countries including Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, and Guatemala abolished discriminatory legislation which allowed child marriage. More

In the words of Sonja Lokar: “If there are so few women in politics, who will put on the agenda the priorities that affect women’s lives?”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sonja Lokar is the Executive Director of the Central and Eastern European Network for Gender Issues and has worked with women activists across all social, ethnic, religious and political divides in 21 countries. She has been a political activist from her youth and is a specialist in political party development, social welfare state issues, and gender issues. She is a feminist and an advocate for women’s human rights in Slovenia and internationally. Lokar recently spoke at the Regional Conference "Parliamentarians for gender equality and women's empowerment," organized by UN Women, UNDP, and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) with the support of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and in partnership with the Government of Sweden. More

Local women’s networks drive gender equality in rural Serbia

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In rural Serbia, where the political and economic landscape is primarily dominated by men and few women participate in decision-making, local Women Councilors Networks set up with support from UN Women are challenging the status quo. More

Editorial spotlight: International Day of Democracy 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Democracy, sustainable peace and conflict prevention cannot be achieved if women—half of the population—are left behind. This year's International Day of Democracy (15 September) theme, “Democracy and Conflict Prevention”, calls for “strong leadership to support democracy, strengthen civil society, empower women and uphold the rule of law”. More

From where I stand: “They said that a woman couldn’t run for elections…I proved them wrong”

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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. Today she makes other elected officials aware of the importance of women’s leadership. More

Liberia elections: Making 2017 count for women

Monday, August 7, 2017

In October 2017, Liberians will head to the polls to vote, as President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female Head of State, completes her second and final term tenure this year. Women constitute half of the over two million people who have registered to vote, according to Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC). UN Women is working with Liberian civil society organizations, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the NEC and the media to boost... More

In Kenya, women gear up for county elections

Monday, July 24, 2017

UN Women is working with community elders to break the cultural barriers to women’s political participation. For the upcoming general elections on 8 August, hopes are running high among women candidates. A total of nine women are competing for Governors, 115 as members of the National Assembly, 25 as senators’ and 261 as members of the County Assemblies. More

From where I stand: “Women have to be at the heart of the Africa of tomorrow”

Thursday, July 20, 2017

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 participation and leadership in politics, she took part in the High-Level Women Leaders’ Forum for Africa’s Transformation and the launch of the African Women Leaders’ Network. More

In Albania, elections herald historic increase in number of women MPs

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In the recently concluded national elections, Albania has reached a new milestone with 28 per cent of women parliamentarians. Women candidates benefited from the gender quota and public forums organized by UN Women and partners that enabled them to outreach to the public. Efforts continue to boost women’s political participation nationally and to secure gender balance in local elections. More

Press Release: New platform launched to galvanize and boost women’s leadership of Africa

Friday, June 2, 2017

UN Women, the African Union Commission, and the Permanent Mission of Germany today launched the African Women Leaders Network, a ground-breaking initiative that seeks to enhance the leadership of women in the transformation of Africa with a focus on governance, peace and stability. More

Media Advisory: Two events today at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong will launch today at 12.30 p.m., the 2017 edition of the Women in Politics Map. The Map, co-produced by IPU and UN Women since 2000, includes the latest global data on the rankings of women in politics at executive and parliamentary levels of governments. This afternoon, the Commission on the Status of Women will symbolically mark the global gender pay gap, when it will interrupt its work at 4.10 p.m., when there is 23 per cent of the work-day left. More

Press Release: New IPU and UN Women map shows women’s representation in politics stagnating

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The number of women in executive government and in parliament worldwide has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015, according to the data presented in the Women in Politics 2017 Map launched today by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women. More

From where I stand: “I made history by becoming the youngest City Council member”

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Abla Al Hajaia on winning elections as a young woman and her work with the community More

In Moldova, a woman councillor leads the way in transforming a landfill into a forest

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Situated in Rapa lui Visan, an important natural tourist spot in Moldova, Taraclia village put up with an unhealthy landfill until Pelaghia Traci, a local councillor mentored by a UN Women-supported initiative, got her neighbours to act. More

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