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Sustainability Quiz 30: Global women leaders

Sustainability Quiz 30: Global women leaders

Sustainability Quiz 30. Nearly 20 years ago, the United Nations Security Council adopted 'Resolution 1325', for the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda

Gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world. It seems that if we want world peace, we need to put more women in charge of countries. In 2015, every 190 United Nations member state made the commitment to ensure women's full and effective participation and opportunities for leadership. This rationale is not just equity, fairness and rights & representation; but also because the participation of women makes for stronger governance and better economic outcomes. 

Women leader numbers seem to be increasing globally. How many countries have women in highest position of executive power?

17 years later, where are the women?

After all this time and with so much commitment, what exactly is the current state of play for womenkind in government leadership?

  • 1 in 4 Parliamentarians is now female
  • 1 in 5 Government Ministers are female
  • Less than 7% of Country Leaders are female
  • 1/3 of companies have no women at all in board position

Today, according to the IPU, (Inter-Parliamentary Union is the global organization of national parliaments), more than half of women heads of state and government are in Europe.

At the beginning of 2022, there were 14 countries led by women, and Honduras is the only country to have added to this since the year began. 2021 saw the end of womens' reigns in Germany, Myanmar, and Norway, but the first time ascent of women in Estonia, Samoa, Sweden and Tanzania. Despite growing numbers of female leaders in recent years, there has never been more than 18 women in these positions of power in a single year, which is less than 10% of the number of men who have held these positions.

Family ministries

In the case of ministers, despite some shifts in recent years, women ministers are still most likely to oversee family and social affairs, followed closely by environment and energy portfolios.

Women, peace and security

Resolution 1325 was the first time that the contribution women make to conflict resolution and sustainable peace was acknowledged and measured. Where women are meaningfully involved in peacekeeping efforts, they are 65% more likely to succeed. Humanitarian assistance after disasters is more effective and peace agreements more likely to last longer where women are involved.

What can you do?

In Australia, the early 2022 elections were a reset for women and Australian society - driven by Citizens, who cast a vote for human rights. Largely supported by young voters and women, the election result saw the rise of Teal Independents - credible, professional women, who ran on a strong climate platform in formerly safe Liberal party seats. The colour teal came from their supporter base of conservative fiscal politics, combined with green, for their views on climate.

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