Category

Governance in Heels

Category

Kenya’s 2017 General Election, despite being the second after the promulgation of the new Constitution, ushered in a number of firsts in the political arena. It was the first time that a presidential election results had been annulled. It was also during this election that Kenya got its first set of female governors. Apart from Charity Ngilu who had won the Kitui gubernatorial race, the other two female governors, Anne Waiguru and late Dr Joyce Laboso, were not considered political heavyweights. They were only mastering the ropes of politics at the very top with the win being Waiguru’s first attempt at politics and Laboso starting on a new path having only come into politics as her sister’s successor. Dr Laboso, who recently passed on has always been at the forefront of Kenya’s power ground championing for empowerment and encouraging women to set out and achieve their goals. As a pioneer…

When the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau came into office in 2015, he formed the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history. In announcing his cabinet, he ensured that half of his closest advisers (15 out of a total of 30) were women. Canada’s gender-equal cabinet vaulted the country from 20th to fifth place in the world in terms of percentage of women in ministerial positions. When reporters asked Trudeau about why gender parity was important to him, he retorted: “Because it’s 2015.” His simple yet momentous response resonated with those committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. Following his response, public health researchers, began to think that if increasing the number of women in positions of power promotes gender equity, could it also promote population health and well-being? Based on their findings, they have reported that Population Health, support the argument that yes, women in government do in fact advance…

Based on research by Katherine Phillips, Susan Perkins, and Nicholas Pearce A mere 15 percent of parliamentary representatives around the world are women — a reflection that for all the benefits democracy may bestow upon nations, it has not yet fully delivered on social equity. There are hints of change: women in top national leadership positions — president or prime minister — have more than quadrupled between 1950 and 2004, from four to 18. Recently, women have been elected in every corner of the globe, including, Chile, Germany, Liberia, and South Korea. Many of these leaders were elected amidst turbulent backdrops: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected as the president of Liberia in 2005, on the heels of its second civil war, for example, while in 2013 Park Geun-hye of South Korea ran on a platform that promoted peace-building with North Korea. Just last month, Catherine Samba-Panza was chosen to lead, on an interim basis, the Central…

By Shan-Jan Sarah Liu In the global struggle to get more women into high political office, one of the more hopeful fronts is Asia. In 2018, Taiwan celebrated two years of its first female president, Tsai Ing-Wen, and its national legislature includes 43 women (38% of seats). Other Asian countries, such as South Korea and Thailand, have also had women heads of government. Some Asian parliaments have more women MPs than many of their Western counterparts. These are major advances, but is Asia really making headway on gender equality? It is widely assumed that when women start to become political leaders, gender equality benefits, but my own research on the political representation and participation of women in Asia calls that assumption into question. To achieve real equality, Asian countries will need to do a lot more than just get more women representatives and leaders elected. It is true that women’s political presence has serious implications. Female MPs are generally imagined…

As the clock ticks towards the 2020 US Election six women amongst others, have declared their candidacies for the Democratic nomination in 2020. It’s the most women who’ve ever run for a major-party nomination in history. Until this cycle, there had been, at most, two women who had ever competed in a major party primary, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. Now, that number has already been far surpassed, as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar, along with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Oprah’s spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson, have all announced presidential runs. Political science tells us that the surge of women this cycle is in large part due to the inroads Hillary Clinton made in 2016, along with the outrage women across the country have experienced since Donald Trump, an alleged sexual harasser, has taken office. The historic 2018 midterms, which saw…

In this moment, millions of lives are threatened by poverty, food insecurity, and climate change, sounding an urgent call to action to global leaders. But this year has the potential to be a turning point, as more than 150 world leaders are gathered at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York to launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit agenda will serve as a plan of action by the international community and by national governments to improve human lives and promote well-being for all over the next 15 years. Each of the 17 SDGs focuses on a different aspect of development, including goals to address eliminating poverty, promoting good health, ensuring peace and justice, guaranteeing the access to clean water, and more. While the goals touch these specific areas, their success is contingent on a comprehensive integration reflecting the way they are experienced in an individual’s life.…