WPSP is excited to share this newly released resource from the United Nations Development Program, entitled “Empowering Women for Stronger Political Parties” A Good Practices Guidebook to Promote Women’s Political Participation.”
Access the full report here.
Helen Clark’s remarks for the launch of this report:
“This practical guidebook highlights good practices drawn from twenty case studies from around the world for promoting women’s participation in political parties. It shows us that there are common challenges facing women in politics, regardless of the region of the world in which their country is located, or the country’s size or development status. The challenges are shared by women across new democracies and established ones, and by women in parties across the political spectrum.
The guidebook examines ways in which political parties can promote women’s advancement in the political system throughout the electoral cycle:
- Prior to elections, parties can take concrete steps to ensure that women are placed in winnable positions on party lists, or in safe or winnable constituencies. One party in Canada created a recruitment committee to ensure diversity in its candidate selection. A party in Costa Rica alternates men and women candidates on its electoral lists.
- During elections, strategies which can be effective in increasing women’s participation include:
• training and mentoring women candidates;
• ensuring women’s visibility in campaigns; and,
• making sure that electoral monitoring, security provision, and voter information are gender-sensitive.
- The guidebook also highlights strategies for supporting successful candidates once they are elected. In El Salvador, the Association of Salvadoran Women Parliamentarians and Ex- Parliamentarians offers training in communication and organizing skills, which helps women become more effective in their political work both inside and outside parliament. In South Africa, women party members pushed for changes to the parliamentary calendar to accommodate the needs of parliamentarians with families.
The value of this guidebook lies in sharing experiences of what a range of political parties have done and are doing to boost female participation. It looks at what motivated these steps, and describes the political benefits the parties may also gain from taking them. It underscores how gender equality and women’s empowerment are being recognized by political parties as not only the right thing to support, but also as having benefits for the parties too.
This good practices guide is both an important advocacy tool, and a capacity building tool. UNDP’s hope is that it will stimulate discussion within political parties on how to improve their recruitment, promotion, and support of women’s political participation.
The guidebook will be promoted widely to global political party associations, individual political parties, and through UNDP programming at the country level. The objective is to push for new norms in political parties, so that the world can move faster towards true gender equality in politics.
When women have a significant voice in all governance institutions at all levels, they will be able to participate equally with men in public dialogue, and better influence the decisions which impact on their future and that of their families, communities, and nations.”
You can access the full transcript here.