Statement: UN Women welcomes the gains made by women of both parties in US midterm elections


UN Women celebrates the achievements of women who participated in the 2018 US midterm elections. Their historic victories indicate the rising voice and leadership of women, particularly as a total of 277 women ran from both parties for office, as well as unprecedented levels of candidates and winners who represented all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, backgrounds and cultures.

The new cohort of elected women will bring the total number in Congress to more than 100. This is a record. The numbers and diversity of women are unprecedented with a 75 per cent increase in women of colour—including Black, Hispanic and Native American—who ran for Congress.

Women’s political participation across the world is a vital human right and critical for the achievement of gender equality and sustainable development. With more women in decision-making positions in many countries, we see more inclusive decisions, and we find different solutions to long-standing problems. Issues like health, education, infrastructure, ending violence against women, and overall quality of life concerns are paid greater attention; there is an impact on the efficiency of oversight functions, and a reduction in corruption. More importantly, when girls growing up can see women in leadership roles, it raises their educational attainment and career aspirations.

As a world we signed on to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aiming to leave no one behind, with a specific target of ensuring women’s effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. These are deeply desirable patterns of growth and change. This is key to unlocking the transformational change we want to see to improve societies everywhere and build a safer, more equal and prosperous world.