The world’s population is split approximately 50-50 between men and women. But when it comes to presidents, prime ministers, and other heads of state and government, a significant gender disparity is uncovered. To commemorate the 15-year anniversary of the Council of Women World Leaders, we spoke with Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, and Margot Wallstrom, former vice-president of the European Commission, about their work, the status of women leaders, and prospects for the future.
The evidence has never been clearer that women’s political, economic, and social participation and leadership are vital to development. Countries where women are fairly represented in government enjoy greater security, higher levels of development, and more inclusive policy-making. The incoming administration should take advantage of this critical moment in history by developing the first-ever National Action Plan on Women’s Equal Participation in Public Service and sign an executive order directing that the plan be implemented. This plan would chart a course to enhance women’s equal role in public service and political participation around the world, and it would transform how the United States approaches its diplomatic and development-based support to women, thus ensuring equal participation in all levels of decision-making.
Dr. Soe Win, a delegate from the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) training institute in December 2011, has used WPSP training materials to develop a two-month training program for women in political parties and civil society in Myanmar.
When it comes to equality for women, Japan ranks 101st out of 135 countries. Shihoko Goto writes that as an ambassador, Caroline Kennedy could serve to change this as a high-profile voice for empowering women in both Japan and the United States.
Former Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Moushira Khattab was informed by No Peace Without Justice that on December 20, at its 67th Ordinary Session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will adopt the Resolution “Intensifying Global Efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation.”
The Women in Public Service Project Joins Forces with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
The Wilson Center becomes the permanent home of the Women in Public Service Project, with Rangita de Silva de Alwis announced as Director of Women's Leadership Initiatives.