Gender equality and women's empowerment are not only human rights; they are also imperative for achieving inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. Women's political participation is central to these goals, and political parties are among the most important institutions for promoting and nurturing such participation. With less than twenty per cent of the world's parliamentary seats occupied by women, it is clear that political parties need to do more - and should be assisted in those efforts - to support women's political empowerment.
This Guidebook is the first of its kind to identify and categorise the range of actions which political parties can take to support women's participation during different phases of the electoral cycle, including during the pre- and post- election phases.
The Guidebook is targeted to members of political parties, particularly those in leadership roles, and to civil society organisations and gender equality activists. It is also intended to encourage global political party foundations and alliances to embrace gender equality as a norm in their constitutions and their work.
Finally, the Guidebook gives valuable guidance to those international organisations and development agencies which provide programming support to political parties in relation to women's political participation.