Parliamentarians for gender equality and women’s empowerment

3 - 4 October 2017 | Chișinău, Republic of Moldova



In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, progress towards a higher representation of women in politics has been slow. Across the region, women’s representation in the lower houses of parliament averages 20 percent. Women’s representation in local elected office remains equally low, with women representing just 15 percent of mayors.

Women face multiple obstacles to participating in political life, from cultural norms and discriminatory laws to reduced access to political networks and financial resources. When women are actually elected, they continue to face obstacles, such as lack of institutional support, gender stereotypes about women’s roles and professional capacities, and challenges balancing private and professional life.

To address these challenges, women and men in parliaments and local assemblies have established governance structures, networks, support mechanisms and strategic plans to improve women’s participation in decision-making and promote legislation that addresses persistent and deepening challenges to gender equality in society.

About the conference

The regional conference, Parliamentarians for gender equality and women’s empowerment, took place 3-4 October 2017 in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova.

Parliamentarians, local elected officials and civil society representatives from 11 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan) came together to explore solutions to increase women’s presence in politics and increase the accountability of parliaments with respect to promoting gender equality.

UNDP, UN Women and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) organised this regional conference with the support of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and in partnership with the Government of Sweden.

The key objective

The conference provided a forum for regional coalition-building and peer learning by:

·      Exchanging good practices on amplifying women’s voices in legislatures (e.g., specific procedures, institutions such as parliamentary (women’s) caucuses and/ or committees, lobbying efforts);

·      Identifying persisting and emerging challenges that require gender-responsive approaches and specific laws and policy (e.g., combating violence and harmful practices, addressing unpaid care work);

·      Presenting concrete measures to improve the gender-responsiveness of parliaments (e.g., assessing the gendered impact of parliamentary bills).

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