Giorgio Spagnol
Date de publication: 


The goal of equality between women and men and the promotion of women' rights are enshrined in international conventions and commitments. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, envisions “the equal rights of men and women”; in 1979 the United Nations General Assembly approved the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); in the UN World Conference (Beijing 1995) empowerment of woman and gender equality were considered prerequisites for achieving political, social, economic, cultural, and environmental security among all peoples.

In September 2000 189 countries signed the Millennium Declaration to build a better world. To this end they set out eight concrete, measurable targets, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to be achieved by 2015. The third goal, promoting gender equality and empowering women, was deemed key to the achievement of the remaining goals.

On 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted UNSCR 1325, the first formal and legal document requiring all states respect fully international humanitarian law and international human rights law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls during and after the armed conflicts.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325

UNSCR 1325 formally acknowledges the changing nature of warfare where civilians are increasingly targeted, and women continue to be excluded from participation in peace processes instead of playing a key role in conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace.

As a matter of fact, too often women are considered only as victims: they must be seen as leaders and their role and participation in leadership is not a favor to women, but is essential to peace and security. Women can offer a vital perspective in the analysis of conflict and provide strategies toward peace by building on common interests and prioritizing inclusiveness, transparency, and sustainability of any peace process.

In terms of global security, women soldiers serving abroad in operational theaters have demonstrated tremendous resilience, adaptability and capacity for innovation, giving a competitive advantage and showing that courage and leadership recognize no gender.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Women's equal participation and leadership in political and public life are essential to achieving by 2030 the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet by  ending poverty, hunger, AIDS & discrimination against women & girls”.

However, data show that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making worldwide, and that achieving gender parity in political life is far off. As of October 2022, there are only 29 countries where  women serve as Heads of State and/or Government. Only 21% of government ministers are women. Only 26% of all national parliamentarians are women. Only  27 countries have reached or surpassed 40%, including 15 countries in Europe, 5 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 5 in Africa, 1 in Asia and 1 in the Pacific.

There is established and growing evidence that women’s leadership in political decision-making processes improves them.  For example, research on panchayats (local councils) in India discovered that the number of drinking water projects in areas with women-led councils was 62% higher than in those with men-led councils. In Norway, a direct causal relationship between the presence of women in municipal councils and childcare coverage was found.

Women demonstrate political leadership by working across party lines through parliamentary women’s caucuses—even in the most politically combative environments—and by championing issues of gender equality, such as the elimination of gender-based violence, parental leave and childcare, pensions, gender-equality laws, and electoral reform.

Why do we need women in politics?

Women are half of the world’s population, which means that representation is necessary to ensure that democracy functions as effectively as possible. With an equal presence of women with men in the public sector, an equal perspective in government is essential to ensure greater responsiveness to the needs of citizens from all demographics. Female legislators belonging to various backgrounds can bring a wide array of issues to the table for consideration and propose solutions accordingly.

Rising female representation is likely to have long-run effects that go beyond immediate symbolic effects of representation or substantive effects on policies in the short run. By assuming legislative and executive positions all over the world, women have the opportunity to demonstrate their competence and political expertise.

Female politicians may demystify gender biases, promote policies that ease formal and informal barriers to further female engagement and provide a role model for current and future generations of women.

The COVID response in female-led versus male-led countries is an example of the benefit of women in higher positions within politics with the successes of female-led countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In countries like New Zealand and Germany, which were both female-led, COVID-19 responses were both faster and more effective than some of their male-led equivalent countries.

How to achieve the establishment of more women in politics

The best gender diversity initiative would be to center talent, honesty, and great leadership potential as a trait over gender when considering our political leaders. This would both increase the number of women in leadership roles and improve the quality of political leaders elected. Gender equality is political equality.

Decision-making is inherently unequal between men and women, causing lower representation, encouraging less women to adhere to these roles, which results in another vicious cycle keeping women out of politics, and correspondingly, potentially hindering a functioning democracy.

Seeing gender equality attained at a governmental level would reflect well on a nation’s gender equality overall. Increasing representation and parity should be at the forefront of every country’s agenda. 

Gender equality

International commitments in support of gender equality were articulated by a number of countries, beyond those that implement a feminist foreign policy (i.e. Canada, Norway, Spain, Sweden). International commitments focused on strengthening women’s role in the peace and security agenda (Cyprus, Germany, and Ukraine), gendered development cooperation (Croatia, Norway, Spain) the gendered dimension of technology, online engagement and cybersecurity (Canada, Finland, United States).

Will these commitments contribute to radically boost the gender equality agenda and help chart the way for a world in which women have the same opportunities as men in all spheres of life?

Such commitments help to place democracy at the center of the global agenda and gender equality as one of its central pillars. They should be seen as a process , not an event, which allows a novel space for dialogue and exchange of good democratic practices and innovations across democracies in the North and South, and across older and newer democracies.

They also provide a platform that civil society, the media, and other actors can use to advocate and press for change and more ambitious reform agendas going forward. Everyone stands to gain from such efforts. It is time to get to work.

Equal access to education to eliminate gender disparities

Reducing gender gaps in education, employment and political decision making, among other dimensions, has long been an important development objective. To promote Gender Equality and Empower Women by ensuring equal access to education, in particular, is a central component of the effort to eliminate gender disparities in education.

Democracy advances the cause of women’s education in the absolute, although there is no conclusive evidence on whether it improves women’s situation relative to men’s. When it comes to political representation, the evidence is clear: larger numbers of women in politics and elected office improve overall educational outcomes and reduce the gender gap in education.


The greatest challenge is to change mindsets: changing the way people think will also change the way they act and perform their job. History will be made only when mindsets have changed through the combination of theory and practice. According to Kant: “Theory without experience is empty, but experience without theory is blind.”

At a time when conventional, orthodox thinking is under attack, women can pioneer a new era by seizing the initiative and leading the global transformation in accordance with Albert Einstein quote: “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”

And western women should set the example in this regard: they do not define anymore themselves by their social relationship as mothers, daughters or wives  but by what they do.

They have the inclination, education and capability to change the world into a more peaceful and harmonious community by contributing in a more feminine, intuitive way to improve the educational, political, economic, and healthcare sectors of the society.

As changes take root in the West, the rest of the world will have to follow suit. That's why it is important that Western women approach with humility and ability to listen, avoiding to impose Western solutions to local problems with the certainty that they will work: instead, they need to support the natural intelligence and leadership that already exists within communities.


Women stand a greater chance of success in an increasingly interconnected global economy by acting in an empathetic, cooperative, humane and ethic way. Feminine peculiar and important skills still remain expressiveness (communication skills), long-term thinking, loyalty, flexibility, and patience. Women are less defensive, more open to others, more accepting of accountability and can relate better to costumers, communities, teammates and other stakeholders in a business.

Education together with music, literature and art are key means to empower women: they often address issues of injustice through nonviolent and efficient tools, touching both hearths and minds.

Women are determined to change the world focusing on practical, profitable, sensible initiatives by creating revolutionary advances and making it possible to solve humanity's great challenges including energy, education, water, food, and health.

Those with experience and education have the edge because they can see the big picture. Women, who are becoming more and more confident and assertive, are destined to lead in this new era.

Conflicts and disasters, including pandemics, affect women and men in all their diversity differently, and women and girls often suffer the most. Crisis-related hardships combine and compound pre-existing disadvantages, for example, they often cause women’s working conditions to worsen while increasing their overall workload and care responsibilities.

At the same time, crises can give rise to changes that enable women to take up roles that were previously available only to men, and crises can open opportunities to address existing gender-based discrimination and violations of rights.