Donor Activities Supporting Women in Elected Political Spaces


Please provide an overview and case studies of the principal approaches, instruments and budgetary spend that donors (particularly bilateral donors) are using to support women's participation in elected political spaces (national and local level), results achieved, and lessons learnt about donor support. (This should include examples of where donors are supporting women’s engagement in parliaments/parliamentary committees, political parties; women’s campaigns and other relevant civil society support; legislative or electoral reforms that promote women’s participation; voter education for women, etc).


Donors mainly engage in the following types of activities to promote women‘s participation in electoral politics:

  • Training women already in or aspiring towards leadership roles
  • Strengthening the capacity of women‘s groups to monitor government commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Using the media to disseminate information and change attitudes
  • Supporting networks of women parliamentarians and cross-party women‘s groups
  • Supporting parliamentary quotas.

Specific lessons learned and recommendations from the available evaluations include:

  • Ensure the inclusion of organisations that represent women facing multiple forms of exclusion
  • Training should be sustained, continuous and aimed at both women who are already in political office and women who have the potential to be future political leaders
  • Programmes need to be flexible enough to benefit from unexpected opportunities
  • Increased representation of women in terms of numbers does not guarantee a substantive impact on the reduction of structural and gender inequalities.
  • It is good practice to involve men in projects to support women‘s political participation.
  • Certain activities are under-supported in post-conflict environments.