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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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Will we see more women, more Coloured, more disabled people on the Holyrood benches after the 6 May election? REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Could the new Scottish Parliament turn out to be the most diverse ever?
Since its creation in 1999, the Scottish Parliament has provided a forum to address issues like health, education and the environment, which directly affect the nation. However, as far...
Michelle Roberts was elected as the first female speaker of WA Parliament.CREDIT:THE WEST AUSTRALIAN/KELSEY REID
Women’s day as record setting parliament sworn in
The lower house of Western Australia’s newly elected 41st Parliament sat for the first time on Thursday, marking a momentous occasion with the swearing-in of a record number of women in the chamber...
GETTY IMAGES Women MSPs marked the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which allowed women to vote for the first time.
Scottish election 2021: Will there be a record number of female MSPs?
Scottish voters go to the polls to elect a new crop of MSPs on 6 May, with parties under more pressure than ever to correct the imbalances in the gender and diversity of their representatives.Could...
Military personnels carriy ballot boxes and voting equipment to a polling station in Praia, on April 17, 2021, on the eve of the parliamentary elections.   -   Copyright © africanews SEYLLOU / AFP
Cape Verde votes in election that could see first female prime minister
Cape Vedians headed to the polls to cast their ballots in the parliamentary elections.On voters' minds will be the Covid pandemic which has devastated the tourism-dependent economy.Six parties are...
Credit: Depositphotos / The Diplomat
The women that upended Samoa’s politics
Following last week’s election, Samoa’s long-time ruler could be displaced by the country’s first female leader.Samoa is home to one of the world’s longest serving leaders. Prime Minister Tuilaepa...
Samoa election workers tally votes. Opposition leader Fiame Naomi Mataafa could become the island's first female leader with her new party tied with the prime minister's and a lone independent holding the balance of power Handout Samoa Electoral Commissio
Samoa election result hailed as victory for women
Wellington (AFP) – Samoa’s cliff-hanger general election is a victory for under-represented women in Pacific island politics, regardless of the final outcome, opposition leader Fiame Naomi Mataafa...
The last cabinet of the last Dutch government, pictured here in 2017. -Copyright Credit:AP
Dutch election: Is online sexism holding women back from becoming MPs?
With female participation in this week’s election in the Netherlands breaking records, one campaign group can be excused for feeling optimistic.Stem op een Vrouw(Vote for A Women) was set up in 2017...
 Chadian women hold political weight in Chad.  -  Copyright © africanews Jerome Delay/AP2008
Chad: Women hold decisive vote in upcoming presidential election
In Chad, women represent more than 50% of the total population and are a decisive electorate -- capable of tipping the scale in elections.Although a law on parity already exists in the constitution,...
© Michael Reynolds/ AFP
From fundraising to the VP, why 2020 was a pivotal year for women in US politics
2020 was a milestone year for women in politics in the US. The country saw the highest numbers of women entering Congress and the executive in its history.Progress built on the midterm elections in...

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