UN Women in Action: Leadership and Political Participation

UN Women backs innovative government and community initiatives on women’s leadership and political participation. Some examples:

  • In Albania’s 2015 local elections, women’s representation jumped to an unprecedented 35 percent of local councillors, up from 14 percent. Before the poll, UN Women helped the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and civil society groups successfully advocate for a new 50 percent gender quota for local candidates.
  • In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, UN Women helped national and regional women’s advocacy groups and women parliamentarians across party lines successfully push for boosting the quota for women local and national candidates. The newly amended Electoral Law now requires 40 per cent of candidates on party lists to be female.
  • UN Women partnered with the Inter-Parliamentary Union to support Turkey’s National Assembly in conducting a comprehensive gender review of 31 laws, aimed at aligning them with international standards. Greater awareness of gender gaps led to women being appointed to parliamentary committees that previously had no female members, like the Committee on Planning and Budgeting.
  • Efforts to empower women in Moldova, including from marginalized communities, have equipped them to take active public roles in politics. Training and coaching aided 1,000 women candidates in preparing for local elections in 2015; nearly 100 were successful in winning local offices. Until that point, no Roma women had ever run in a local campaign. Not only did 7 register as candidates, but 2 gained seats as local councilors.
  • In Tajikistan, UN Women partnered with the Committee for Women and Family Affairs to introduce District Task Forces that provide free legal counselling to women with a focus on land and property rights. The model worked so well that the Government expanded the initiative, resulting in 105 state-funded District Task Forces that operate in all regions of the country, serving around 12,000 people in 2015.