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We are pleased to share with you this newsletter for the latest news and resources on women's leadership and political participation. Click on the buttons below for the Arabic, French, and Spanish versions. We hope you enjoy this update!  
In the Spotlight
Women in Politics and COVID-19
The gender gap in politics remains the largest gender gap across sectors. Women continue to be marginalized and unfairly represented at all levels of government globally, making up 36% of local deliberative bodies and 26.1% of national parliaments. Today, only 8% of Heads of Government and Heads of State are women.

Disasters and crises often exacerbate existing inequalities, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. While an estimated 80 countries and territories postponed national and local elections, at least 158 held elections despite COVID-19 related concerns and restrictions. In 2020 and 2021, it is estimated that voter turnout declined in 66% of countries.

Many national parliaments reconfigured or reduced their activities by introducing remote work and events. Parliaments with virtual participation reinforce political power imbalances, favoring those physically present in meetings – more likely to be men – and reducing the visibility and impact of remote participants – more likely to be women. Virtual participation disadvantages women as it increases their exposure to domestic violence and reinforce domestic gendered roles and expectations. Virtual participation and internet use are also associated with increased exposure to online abuse and violence against women in politics, which can discourage women from engaging in public debates and voicing their political opinions and aspirations publicly.  

From 21 March to 11 April, we convened an e-Discussion that raised awareness and collected experiences, knowledge, and good practices on women’s political participation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as explored how to best mitigate the crisis’ effects on women voters, women candidates, and women elected officials. 
The latest news
  • After the recent elections in France, Elisabeth Borne was appointed the country’s new prime minister, becoming the second woman to hold the post, and Yael Braun-Pivet was elected as the first woman Speaker of the National Assembly. Click here to learn more.
  • Francia Marquez, a single mother and former housekeeper, will be Colombia's first Black woman vice president after a historic vote last week. Click here to learn more.
  • Australia’s new parliament is the most diverse and gender-balanced yet. Women now comprise 38% of the House and 57% of the Senate. Click here to learn more.
  • In Lebanon, only 8 women succeeded to secure seats in the new parliament, making up 6.25% of its members. Click here to learn more.
  • Samoa will have 7 women MPs – a record – after the Supreme Court ordered the Speaker to swear in 3 new women lawmakers. Women now make up 7.7% of parliament. Click here to learn more.
  • The parliament of Hungary elected Katalin Novak, who most recently served as a minister for family policy, as the country’s first-ever female president. Click here to learn more.
  • After her confirmation by the United States Senate, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman to serve as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Click here to learn more.
  • Although Somalia has a quota for women MPs, women are frequently held back from pursuing leadership roles by regional clans and cultural barriers. Click here to learn more.
News and Resources
We share news and resources in four languages for and about women in politics daily on our platform and social media pages. Our online library features more than 23,000 news and resources, including world news, reports, research papers, training material, videos, case studies, databases, and blogs. Browse our library and our enhanced elections page for unique access to insight on women's participation in politics. Do not hesitate to share your feedback with us by replying to this email [email protected].
Partner Updates
Our partner organizations are contributing with their specific mandate and expertise to make advancements in women’s political participation a reality. Find below some of the latest resources from International IDEA, IPU, UNDP, and UN Women
About us
iKNOW Politics is a unique platform on women in politics, designed to connect members and build knowledge through e-discussions, webinars, interviews, videos, a rich online library of resources, a calendar of events and daily world news. Created in 2007, iKNOW Politics is a joint project of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (UN Women).