The power to decide: women, decision-making and gender equality

Briefing papers
September 2015
Tam O'Neil and Pilar Domingo
Around the world, women now have more influence over the decisions that affect their lives. Even in the most conservative societies, feminists and gender advocates have been able to forward more equitable policies and outcomes.

This briefing explores women’s decision-making power in this context. It looks at the reasons for women’s increased presence in public life around the world, and why women in some socioeconomic groups, sectors and countries have less political power than others. It examines when and how women have power and influence in practice, and what they seek to achieve.

In addition, the authors outline how the international community can better support women’s political leadership by investing in women’s education and economic assets, their organisations and political apprenticeships; focusing on political systems and not just elections; and supporting locally-led and problem-driven responses.