It’s not democracy without women in positions of power

Candid photo of Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel
Minna Cowper-Coles, World Politics Review, 10 July 2023

Minna Cowper-Coles, research fellow at Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London, lays out the reasons and research demonstrating why we urgently need more women political leaders, for the health of our democracies, economies, international cooperation, and issues that effect us all.

  • The ‘Bad Women’ argument – responding to the argument that women leaders can be just as “bellicose, autocratic, corrupt and incompetent as their male counterparts”
  • The impact on policy outcomes in parliaments and legislatures that are more gender-equal
  • The role of party politics
  • Gender-balanced legislature as key for the fundamentals of democracy itself
  • The numerous obstacles women face in trying to enter politics compared with men, and wide-ranging potential solutions

“We need to reframe the question of gender equality in government. This is not something that would be “nice to have” or that is needed only to address “women’s issues.” To the contrary, the research shows that if we want to deal adequately with the big issues that affect us all, we urgently need more women political leaders. As importantly, it is fundamental for the health of our democracies, economies and international cooperation that women have an equal say to men in how our countries are governed.”

– Minna Cowper-Coles

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