Side-event on Gender Equality and Political Empowerment of Women: A Populist Reaction?

The side-event will take place on the margins
of the World Forum for Democracy
in Strasbourg on 9 November 2017,
9.00-10.30 at the Palais de L’Europe.


The Community of Democracies, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International IDEA, is pleased to announce a side-event on Gender Equality and Political Empowerment of Women: A Populist Reaction?  which will take place on the margins of the World Forum for Democracy.

The adoption of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 marked the latest affirmation of the decades-long international agenda to advance the political empowerment of women and to ensure gender equality at all levels that began with the adoption of legal instruments such as the Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1962), the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (1967) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).

However, despite the multitude of international legal instruments pertaining to women’s political empowerment and gender equality, unequal opportunities and conditions for political participation and representation between men and women persist worldwide, and the current political trend of the rise of populism has only added to the challenges women and their allies face in achieving their goals.

The side-event will serve as an opportunity to discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the race to advance gender equality and political empowerment of women, in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the impact of populism on current trends and actions for the advancement of these goals.

The event will consist of a panel discussion and the presentation of a Guidebook on “Global and Regional Organizations, Gender Equality and the Political Empowerment of Women”, which was produced with the support and cooperation of regional organizations, UNDP, the Community of Democracies and International IDEA. The publication is based on the results of five regional consultations held over the past year that brought together politicians, representatives of international organizations and civil society to discuss the challenges of ensuring gender equality in democratically elected bodies, as well as the work of the main regional organizations worldwide to advance this agenda. The Guidebook suggests a set of straight-forward recommendations that will inform policy makers at the state and at the multilateral level to develop more effective actions to ensure the political empowerment of women.

We are pleased to announce as speakers Carolina Lasén Diaz, Head of the Gender Equality Unit of the Council of Europe, Victoria Ignat, UNDP Project Manager of the “Women in Politics” programme, and Anne Meskanen, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women Issues and Gender Equality of Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To moderate, we welcome Andrew Bradley, Director of International Idea’s Office in Brussels.

For detailed agenda and information on how to register for the side-event, please click here or contact the CoD Planning Manager, Mr. Jason Worlledge (