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Women’s political participation in electoral processes requires targeted support to overcome gender discrimination. Key strategies for enhancing gender balance in electoral processes include: working with political parties to promote gender sensitive policies and practices to foster women’s leadership; targeted outreach and support for women to register to vote and safely access polling stations; guarantee of protection from election related violence and harassment; the use of quotas and temporary special measures to increase women’s representation; effective technical and financial support to women candidates and political leaders; and engagement of male champions for women’s empowerment and gender equality.

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Vote Mama CEO Liuba Grechen Shirley.Photo courtesy of Gerri Hernandez.
Campaign-funded child care helps moms run for office — meet the woman making it...
When Liuba Grechen Shirley ran for New York’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018, the Democratic mom of two had no clue about the barriers she would face on the campaign trail.“There is no...
Women supporters of Iran's presidential election favourite, ultraconservative judicary chief Ebrahim Raisi, attend a campaign rally in the city of Eslamshahr, just south of Tehran - AFP/File
'Long and difficult' path to political equality for Iran women
Iranian women's poor political representation could be set to worsen under an ultraconservative poised to win next week's presidential election.Ebrahim Raisi, who heads Iran's judiciary, is the clear...
Toshihiro Nikai (C), secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, speaks at a meeting with female lawmakers of the party on March 15, 2021, at the party headquarters in Tokyo. (Kyodo)
Japanese parties vie to boost number of female lawmakers ahead of polls
TOKYO – Japanese political parties are competing with each other to promote female candidates ahead of a lower house election that must be held by this fall, but some worry that, like similar efforts...
Hala S. Ayala, left, is the Democratic pick for Virginia lieutenant governor and Winsome E. Sears is the Republican nominee. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)
Regardless of outcome, Virginia lieutenant governor’s race will make history
No matter which party prevails in Virginia’s elections in November, the result of the lieutenant governor’s race will be the same in one way: A woman of color will hold a statewide office in the...
By Nacera Ouabou, Natalia Roman
Women, young candidates to reverse Algeria’s low voter turnout
Young men and women candidates running for Algeria’s upcoming legislative elections are considered an asset amid a predicted record low turnout.Analysts fear people might abstain from voting and...
REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo
Women score historic wins in Mexico’s mid-term elections
Women were poised to win a record number of state governors’ offices in Mexican mid-term elections on Sunday, capturing territory long dominated by men and giving them a bigger political platform to...
Samoa's crisis seen harming gender equality in Pacific island politics
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An impasse between Samoa’s incumbent prime minister and female opposition leader could see a backlash against gender quota rules in the small Pacific island nation and...
A protest in Somalia. The country, which faced its worst political crisis in recent years after the failure to hold planned elections in February, will hold elections in 60 days. PHOTO | FILE
Somalia election certain, now the focus is women seats, security
The political agreement signed in Somalia this past heralds not just a new democratic dawn but also one of equity and inclusivity by raising the quota of women in the formal political space to at...
The previous House of Representatives in session
Cyprus: Just eight female MPs, a drop of three per cent
Cyprus, already among the countries where women account for fewer than one in five members in parliaments, experienced a three per cent drop in representation compared with the 2016 parliamentary...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in Parliament in 2020: The year in review
© Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images via AFP
UN Women
Preventing violence against women in elections: A programming guide
UNDP Online Course on Enhancing Women’s Participation Throughout the Electoral Cycle
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
A framework for developing internal gender policies for electoral management bodies

Related Websites

International Foundation for Electoral Systems: Gender Equality
European Commission-UNDP Electoral Assistance
NDI's “Votes Without Violence” initiative