Corporate thematic evaluation of UN Women’s support to women’s political participation: Insights from the field

Despite overall progress in terms of more women participating in political decision-making worldwide, gender equality in political participation remains elusive. Deeply entrenched discrimination continues to hinder women’s full participation in political and electoral processes. In its efforts to advance women’s rights and gender equality, UN Women recognizes women’s political participation as a key area of focus.

UN Women’s initiatives to advance women’s political participation include:

  • promoting supportive legislative and institutional reforms;
  • building the capacity of women political aspirants and leaders;
  • monitoring, preventing and mitigating violence against women in politics; and
  • encouraging social norms change to recognize women’s political leadership.

UN Women is also actively engaged in promoting women’s political participation through coordination and advocacy efforts across the UN system.

In 2023, UN Women’s Independent Evaluation Service conducted an evaluation of UN Women’s support to women’s political participation. The primary focus of the evaluation was the impact of UN Women’s efforts to support women’s political participation at the national (and subnational) level. The evaluation also identified lessons learned; examined the contribution of regional and global-level support/guidance; and tracked both positive and negative unintended consequences, including cases of backlash against women’s political participation.

The evaluation included a retrospective view of results achieved during the UN Women Strategic Plan 2018–2021 period, as well as a forward-looking view to support implementation of the UN Women Strategic Plan 2022–2025. The geographic scope covered UN Women’s programming across all six regions through a representative sample of 12 country offices.

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