Women’s representation in political decision-making continues to rise slowly, with slight improvements since 2017, according to the data presented in the 2019 edition of the biennial IPU-UN Women map of Women in Politics. The map was launched at a press conference during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) at the UN in New York. The map, which presents global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary government branches as of 1 January 2019, shows the proportion of women ministers is at an all-time high at 20.7 per cent (812 out of 3922), 2.4 percentage points higher compared to 2017. It also shows that the types of portfolios women ministers hold are diversifying. The map follows the publication of the IPU analysis of women in parliament last week which showed that the global share of women MPs (24.3 per cent) has increased by nearly one point compared with 2017.
From 11 to 15 March 2019, the UK Parliament was represented at the 63rd session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW 63) at the UN in New York by Baroness Hodgson, Baroness Gale and Baroness Watkins frim the UK House of Lords. The 63rd session had the priority theme of “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. The week started with an opening speech by the Presdient of the Bureau of the Commission, H.E. Geraldine Byrne Nason, and the UN Secretary General, both great champions of gender equality. The IPU day as CSW63 was entitled “Investing in gender equality: Parliaments ensuring social protection, public services and infrastructure deliver for women”. The morning focussed on “What do gender-responsive social protection policies look like”.
Women’s leadership and the equal participation of women and men in public affairs and decision-making are matters of human rights which are key elements of democracy and lasting peace, and prerequisites for achieving sustainable development. Our societies will not enjoy human rights, peace, sustainable and inclusive development, if they are not grounded in effective gender parity, if they do not benefit from women’s leadership and the empowerment of women and girls as expressly recommended by the CEDAW Committee. Women’s participation and equal opportunities for leadership are at the center of the Member States commitments enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 5.