Giving women a voice in government

In the last two decades, decentralization of power and responsibilities from national to local levels has changed the face of governments around the globe. It has also given women new opportunities to participate in local politics and decision-making.

Although formidable challenges remain, research supported by IDRC in Asia, Latin America, and Africa is showing how women are gaining access to and participating in public decision-making — and how that process could be improved.

As a female district council member in Pakistan says, “The local government system is very good…Women are allowed to have opportunities to work through this system, to come out of their houses and work among and along with men. I never thought of myself coming out and being among men to speak for our rights in the council ….Only this system has enabled the women to come up and speak, become active, and participate.”



Decentralization: Local Power, Women's Rights
Has decentralization truly given women a stronger voice, more control over resources, or greater access to public services?

Real Rights: Decentralization and Women in South Asia
Women’s experiences of decentralization in Nepal, Pakistan, and India

Decentralization, Local Power and Women’s Rights
Policy recommendations from the international conference

Research outputs
Background papers, technical reports, project briefs

Published: 10 Mar 2010

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