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Equal representation has been a hot topic of late, and rightfully so. More women are running for office, rising to senior leadership, and cracking the glass ceiling than ever before. When women lead, the benefits speak for themselves.

Women in positions of authority tend to advocate for and allocate budgets towards social issues; companies with strong female boards have shown a return on equity that is 10.1% annually vs. 7.4% from companies without; and gender balance in the political sphere promotes gender balance in the workforce, which could double global GDP growth by 2025. When women lead, we all prosper.

Yet, there are multiple barriers — legal, political, and cultural — that prevent women from taking their place within the political arena. Breaking down these barriers and creating opportunities for women calls for a collaborative effort among states, civil society, and the international community. We can start with gender budgeting, gender quotas, and supporting young people to move into political roles. But as our newest Deliver for Good Campaign Influencer, Dr. Alaa Muribat says, getting more women at the table also takes “modifying inveterately held cultural notions about the subordination of women.”

Paving the way for more women in the political, business, and civic arena is an investment in more just, equitable, and peaceful societies. It’s time to shatter that glass for good.

For evidence and strategies help to pave the way for more women in the political, business, and civic arena click the links below:

Featured Content

Women Deliver President/CEO Katja Iversen conducted an interview with Dr. Alaa Murabit. Alaa is the Founder of The Voice for Libyan Women, a UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment & Economic Growth, one of the UN’s 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, a Forbes 30 under 30 award winner, and a Canadian medical doctor.

In the piece above The Caterpillar Foundation discusses why we need bigger investments in programs that empower women and girls.

In this video Administrator of the UNDP, Helen Clark talks about the challenges she faced when she was the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the untapped power of women, and the barriers women face when it comes to economic opportunities.

Solutions in Action: Strengthen Women’s Political Participation and Decision-Making Power

Partner Resources

This report from UNDP reflects extensive research based on available national data, and provides analysis of the obstacles in the way of women’s equal participation and decision-making in public administration.

This report from EY and espnW explores how sport advances women at every level.

This infographic from UN Women captures women’s participation in executive government and in parliament on a given date – 1st January 2017.

This toolkit from the Inter-Parliamentary Union will help parliaments evaluate how gender sensitive they are, assess their current practices and policies, identify possible areas for reform, plan for change, and establish mechanisms to monitor progress.

For more solutions that are helping to strengthen women’s political participation and decision-making power, download the Solutions Panorama, a collection of 100 programs, initiatives, and strategies that were shared at the Women Deliver 2016 Conference.

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