Women's Leadership

Women's Leadership

Womens Leadership

While there have been important advances in women’s leadership in politics, as of November 1 2017, women make up only 7.2% of Heads of State and 6.2% Heads of Government. Data on women representatives in local government, including as mayors, heads of villages and towns, is not well collected and analyzed. The adoption of an SDG indicator on women’s representation in local government is a great step forward in tracking progress on gender balance, allowing for the systematic collection and analysis of data on women in local government. Women’s access to and continued role in leadership positions is challenged by a range of barriers, including discriminatory laws and practices, as well as social norms that prescribe traditional roles and attitudes towards women’s participation in leadership and decision-making roles. Proactive gender-equality policies within political parties and local government structures, including quotas and special temporary measures, gender-sensitive approaches to electoral processes, support networks, mentoring, training, and engagement of male champions, can all help promote women’s role in political leadership. 


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named the new head of the World Trade Organization. An economist, she previously served as Nigeria's finance minister and as managing director of the World Bank. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala makes history as WTO's first African and female leader
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former two-time Nigerian finance minister, was appointed Monday to the be the next director-general of the World Trade Organization. She is the first African and the...
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria is poised to become the World Trade Organization’s first Black and first female leader.Credit...Martial Trezzini/EPA, via Shutterstock
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala set to become W.T.O.’s first female leader
Her path was cleared after Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean trade minister, announced she was withdrawing from consideration to head the World Trade Organization.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an economist and...
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a video conference at The Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 11, 2021. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS
When will women hold as many top government jobs as men?
By Emma BathaLONDON, Feb 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Boosting the number of female leaders and government ministers will help build a stronger post-pandemic world, the head of U.N. Women,...
Kaja Kallas has stressed gender balance in forming the new cabinet, placing several women in key positions. Photograph: Janis Laizans/Reuters
Estonia's first female PM sworn in as new government takes power
Estonia’s new two-party coalition government has been sworn in with the first female prime minister since the Baltic nation regained independence in 1991.The 15-member cabinet of Kaja Kallas, a 43-...
Left: Representative Shirley Chisholm announces her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Right: Vice President Kamala Harris wears purple during hte 59th Presidential Inauguration. AP Photo; Greg Nash - Pool/Getty Images
Kamala Harris' purple Inauguration Day outfit may have been a nod to the fi...
Kamala Harris made history on January 20 when she became the United States' first female, Black, and Asian American vice president.During the historic inauguration, she wore a bright purple...
Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president as her husband, Doug Emhoff, looks on at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20. Alex Wong / Getty Images
Kamala Harris became the first Black, South Asian VP with 'firsts' sur...
Harris, whose political career has included many barrier-breaking moments, was surrounded by firsts as she took the oath of office Wednesday.Kamala Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and a...
UN Women logo
Norway supports UN Women to advance Libyan women’s participation in peacebuildin...
With generous support from the Government of Norway, UN Women will intensify its efforts to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Libya at this critical juncture.The Government of Norway...
Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi
New Yemeni government excludes women for first time in 20 years
Feminists in war-devastated Yemen have condemned the exclusion of women from a new government formed under a power-sharing deal between the internationally-recognized government and separatists.The...
Launch of the first women leaders’ dialogue in Central Asia
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- A prominent group of women leaders representing the Central Asian states and the United Nations launched a new platform, the Central Asian Women Leaders’ Caucus, today to...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
Taking stock of progress on gender equality using the global state of democracy indices
UNDP gender and recovery toolkit
UN Women, Inter-Parliamentary Union
Resources on Gender-sensitive Responses to COVID-19
UN Women, Inter-Parliamentary Union
Resources on Gender-sensitive Responses to COVID-19

Related Websites

Arab Women Legal e-Platform launched