WHY WE DO IT
Women make up less than 20 percent of parliamentarians around the world, and in thirty seven states women account for less than 10 percent of representatives in single or lower houses.
The 2011 UN General Assembly resolution on women’s political participation notes:
“Women in every part of the world continue to be largely marginalized from the political sphere, often as a result of discriminatory laws, practices, attitudes and gender stereotypes, low levels of education, lack of access to health care, and the disproportionate effect of poverty on women.”
Even when elected to national government, women policy-makers may lack the sufficient skills or willingness to address issues of gender equality. This is why Mina’s List is working towards equal and substantive representation, which means that women parliamentarians are both willing and able to advocate for women’s interests in the political arena.
The presence of women in government is important not only to secure the equal rights of women, but for the nature of governance itself. Research shows that when women are empowered as political leaders, more laws are passed to promote women’s rights and countries experience higher standards of living, including positive developments in education, infrastructure and health, and tangible gains for democratic governance, such as decreased corruption, greater cooperation across party and ethnic lines, and more sustainable peace. For example:
- In Argentina, despite representing only 14 percent of deputies, female parliamentarians introduced no fewer than 78 percent of the bills related to women’s rights. (Read More)
- In places as diverse as Timor-Leste, Croatia, Morocco, Rwanda, and South Africa, an increase in the number of female lawmakers has led to legislation related to anti discrimination, domestic violence, family codes, inheritance, and child support and protection. (Read More)
- In West Bengal, villages with greater representation of women in local councils saw an increase of investment in drinking water facilities and roads were almost twice as likely to be in good condition. (Read More)
- Data collected from 19 OECD countries found that an increase in women legislators results in an increase in total educational expenditure. (Read More)
- It is no coincidence that Rwanda, a country where women make up 64% of its Parliament, has become a leader among African countries for economic and social development.
- World Bank Data collected from over 100 countries showed that more women in parliament and legislative bodies resulted in lower levels of corruption. (Read More)
- In South Africa, women leaders of all races were essential in developing a national security framework based on human needs and development. (Read More)
- Pakistan’s Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, a multi-ethnic and multi-party political caucus, is leading rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by humanitarian crisis or extremist violence. (Read More)