Women's Empowerment

Photo: UNDP / GuatemalaPhoto: UNDP / Guatemala

Increasing women's participation in politics

Women are succeeding as politicians, gaining voice through leadership and participation. Women's impact on policy increases as governance systems become more inclusive, democratic and violence-free.

When women participate in politics, there are benefits for women, men, children, communities and nations. UNDP strives to ensure that women have a real voice in all governance institutions so that women can participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision-making.

UNDP advocates and promotes women's political empowerment, supporting efforts to:

  • Increase the number of women in public office
  • Enhance women's leadership by helping to reform electoral processes, change political parties, and strengthen parliaments, judiciaries and the civil service
  • Strengthen the ability of women's organizations to advocate and implement projects that promote women's rights
  • Promote judicial reform to ensure equal legal protection to poor women and men
  • Ensure that essential public services like health and education benefit poor women, men, girls and boys equitably
  • Promote the ratification, implementation, and reporting on women's international and regional women's instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
  • Reduce gender-based violence

Though a gender equality strategy, UNDP seeks to eliminate gender biases in national and international development; incorporate gender awareness into policies, programmes and institutional reforms; involve men to end gender inequality; and develop gender-sensitive tools to monitor progress and ensure accountability.

Gender equality and women's empowerment are human rights that lie at the heart of development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.