The last two decades were marked by progress in women’s political participation and leadership. According to IPU data, the share of parliamentary seats held by women progressed from 11.3 per cent in 1995 to 25 per cent in 2020. However, still only 6.6 per cent of Heads of State and only 6.2 per cent of Heads of Government are women and the proportion of women ministers stands at 21.3 per cent.
Twenty-five years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which set the international target for reaching gender equality in political decision-making, women are still underrepresented across all levels of political leadership and gender equality in politics is still far from reach.
Young women are the least represented in leadership positions. IPU data on youth participation in parliaments shows that only 2.2 per cent of parliamentarians are under 30 and less than 1 per cent of them are young women parliamentarians.
Parliaments and political parties have much to do to support young women’s political participation and their access to political leadership positions. Specific and adapted measures and empowerment programmes are needed to ensure more young women can make it into political office.
The IPU and the Office of the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth are co-organizing an interactive online event on young women’s political participation and leadership as a contribution to generation equality.
The main objectives of the event are to galvanize momentum for young women’s political participation, recognize and understand specific challenges faced by young women in engaging in political leadership, share experiences and build capacity, identify strategic solutions to be pursued by different stakeholders and jointly develop a call to action.
This will be a joint contribution to the Generation Equality Forum, specifically the Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership.
The event will promote young women’s political participation by placing young women leaders at the centre stage to identify, in cooperation with other key stakeholders, concrete steps to be taken to enhance young women’s engagement in political decision-making.
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