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Women In Politics 2023 Womens Participation In Politics Is Still Far From Equality

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The 2023 edition of the Women in Politics Map, created by UN Women and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) since 2005, has been published. The Map shows that more women are participating in politics around the world, but that gender equality has not been achieved.

The Map shows the most recent rankings and distributions of women in executive and national positions as of January 2023. According to the data shared, while the number of women in political leadership roles, both in government and in parliament is increasing worldwide, it remains very low in some countries.

UN Women Executive director Sima Bahous stated: “This data shows that women still make up a minority of Heads and Governments. They are still very underrepresented in government leadership at less than one fourth of Cabinet Ministers. Men continue to dominate key portfolios like energy, defense, and economy. A democracy is only possible if all citizens are included in its processes. Yet, continued violence and threats – online and offline – against women leaders, candidates, and voters blight the potential for their voices and knowledge to bring the change that is so urgently needed for economic and social recovery. The world cannot afford to continue this injustice. We need a paradigm shift that brings true equality.”

IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong stated: “We are seeing continued progress in the number women in politics this calendar year, which is encouraging. However, we still have a long way to go to reach gender equality when we see the current rates of growth. The interconnected crises of climate change and geopolitical tensions, social inequality, and economic instability all require that the world harness the talents of women, and encourage them to get into politics sooner than later.


Data reveals large global inequalities

11.3% of countries had women Heads or State as of January 2023 (17 out of 151 countries, monarchy excluded) and 9.8% had women Heads or Government (19 out 193). This is a significant increase from a decade ago, when figures were 5.3% and 7.3%. Of all the regions, Europe continues to have the highest number of countries led by women. According to the “Women in Politics 2023 Map”, the global proportion of women parliamentarians has increased to 26.5%, compared to 25.5% in 2021. The number of women speakers of Parliament also increased from 20.9% to 22.7% in 2021.

According to recent data, women represent 22.8% of ministerial positions as of 1 January 2023. Europe and North America have the highest proportions of women in ministerial posts (31.6%) and Latin America (31.1%). Central & South Asia and the Pacific Islands are the regions where women are least represented in ministerial positions with 10.1% and 8.1% respectively. In many European countries (13 countries), on the other hand, more than 50% of heads of ministries are held by women.

Although they are underrepresented, women hold ministerial posts on environment (32%), education (30%), public administration (30%), or both. They also hold leadership positions on gender equality and human rights. In contrast, men continue to dominate ministries such as economy, defense, justice, and interior.


The situation in Turkiye according to the “Women in Politics: 2023” Map

Structural barriers to women’s equal participation in political life can only be addressed through temporary special measures with specific targets. One of the most important temporary special measures is gender quotas, which can be in different forms.

These practices are especially important in the context of the upcoming Turkiye parliamentary elections. It is crucial for political parties that more women candidates are included in their lists and that women are placed in winnable positions on the candidate lists. To place women in the winning positions on the lists, gender quotas can be adopted.

Although there are no legislated gender quotas in Turkiye, political parties can apply their own gender quotas for candidate lists as well as all management and decision-making positions to ensure equal participation. Political parties providing financial support to women candidates not only for their nomination fees but also for their campaign work and throughout the election period would also contribute significantly as a temporary special measure.

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