Nov. 21, 2011, 4:35 p.m.
The National Democratic Institute and the United Nations Development Program recently released a guide to increasing the participation of women in political parties. The guide draws from twenty case studies from around the world and provides suggestions for greater involvement of women within parties as well as before, during, and after elections. The full guide can be found here.
The inclusion of the perspectives of women and their participation in politics are prerequisites for democratic development and contribute to good governance, and political parties are the primary vehicles for political participation. It can be politically and financially advantageous for political parties to actively promote women’s empowerment initiatives throughout the electoral cycle. By openly and formally supporting women’s participation through reforms, political parties can alter public opinion, generate new support bases, attract new members, increase the flow of public funding to the party, and improve their standing with other countries, among other political and practical benefits.