Gender equality and democratic governance

Legislative and electoral reforms introduced during the transition process in the Europe and CIS region have made societies more inclusive. Legal and policy frameworks promote and protect the civil, political, and social rights of women. Women are participating in decision-making processes as parliamentarians, political party members, senior civil servants, and as representatives of civil society and the media. Yet, challenges persist with the integration of gender equality principles in policy formulation processes remaining insufficient and ineffective. Women are still underrepresented as heads of states, in ministries, courts, political parties and local government bodies.

In addition, recent political tensions and security challenges have exacerbated social and gender inequalities. The conflict in Ukraine has led to the displacement of some one million people, 70 percent of whom are women and children. In Turkey, the influx of millions of refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria has intensified social tensions and incidents of gender-based violence, particularly in border regions.

In response to these challenges, guided by the global Gender Equality Strategy, UNDP works with national partners to:

  • Support legal and institutional frameworks to promote the equal participation and leadership of women and men in decision-making across all branches of the state.
  • Promote initiatives that make parliaments more sensitive to the needs of women and men.
  • Invest in applied policy research to identify and promote best practices to ensure inclusive policymaking processes.
  • Support women parliamentarians, gender caucuses and political parties.
  • Strengthen the rule of law, justice, security and human rights, by increasing access to justice and capable justice services and promoting women’s rights.
  • Ensure access to health care services.

Some of our recent selected results:

  • In Georgia and Moldova, UNDP supported the introduction of e-registration systems for voters, which allows for collection of gender-disaggregated voters statistics.
  • Mentoring and training projects increased women’s participation in local governance in Armenia and Montenegro.
  • In Albania, UNDP helped to set up a 50 percent quota in the electoral code for municipal councils in 2015. In Moldova and Montenegro, UNDP ensured an increase in the number of women candidates in party lists.
  • Healthcare services for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis improved in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

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