Dear friends,

As we say goodbye to a difficult year, we thank you for supporting our work in 2020 and wish you a healthy and happy holiday and prosperous 2021! Here is to a brighter future, with stronger communities and institutions and more equality and justice for women and girls everywhere. 

All the best,
Team iKNOW Politics
In the Spotlight
Online Violence Against Women in Politics
Politics is a hostile environment to women everywhere. An Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) global study published in 2016 and a 2018 study focused on European countries found that violence against women MPs is very widespread, with varying prevalence in different regions and countries of the world. According to IPU’s research, psychological violence -- which includes sexist and misogynistic remarks, humiliating images, intimidation and threats of death, rape, beatings or abduction -- is the most common form of violence women MPs face, affecting more than 80% of the global survey respondents. It also suggests that digital communication is the main tool used to deliver threats of death, rape and beatings against female MPs and that most perpetrators are anonymous users.

Online violence is a phenomenon of pandemic proportion as reports suggest that almost three quarters of women Internet users worldwide have experienced some form of online violence. Online presence, mainly through social media, can be described as a double-edged sword for women politicians: while it is a unique and extremely useful tool to directly communicate with constituencies and to mobilize support and engagement, it provides a forum where violence can proliferate with impunity.

We convened an e-Discussion that raised awareness on the online harassment, abuse, and violence against women in politics by encouraging a dialogue and an exchange of knowledge, experiences, and solutions to fight this phenomenon and ensure online and political spaces are safe and inclusive. Women and men in politics, civil society activists, practitioners and researchers shared their experience and views on the matter. Click here to read the summary. 
Women's Participation in Public Life
Women are active in both the formal and informal public spaces, including in social and political movements as civil society activists, political candidates and leaders, and peace negotiators. Over time, women activists and feminist movements have led efforts globally and nationally to advance the gender equality and women’s empowerment agenda in all spheres of life.

With the rise and renewed uses of the internet, women are using both formal and informal spaces to drive change for a more democratic and sustainable world free from discrimination. Social media tools enable digital activism and grassroots movements with unprecedented speed, reach, and often impact, transforming institutional and traditional activism and civic spaces.  

We convened an e-Discussion that explored and raised awareness on the different ways and forms women participate in public life outside of formal political institutions, such as in feminist movements, civic demonstrations and initiatives and online activism. Activists in civic and political movements, civil society groups, political parties, social media campaigns, as well as practitioners and researchers on issues related to political and public engagement shared their experience and recommendations. Click here to read the summary. 
The latest news
  • The capital of France Paris has been fined 90,000 euros for an unusual infraction: It appointed too many positions in its government, violating a rule that dictates at least 40% of government positions should go to people of each gender. Click here to learn more.
  • The ascension of Kamala Harris as the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president-elect is both symbolic and important to many women across the United States, and several female politicians of color expressed what it meant to them. Click here to learn more.
  • Kuwait's new parliament will be led by an all-male contingent, according to elections results. Of the 326 candidates who ran for the 50-member legislature, 29 candidates were women, none of whom managed to win their races. Click here to learn more.
  • Japan will aim for a 35 percent quota for female parliamentary candidates by 2025, Cabinet Office officials have said, hoping that setting a concrete target will advance gender equality in politics. Click here to learn more.
  • Research covering the major political parties in Ghana made some revelations about issues that hamper women’s full political processes and governance, finding that 41% of women in politics experienced gender-based violence. Click here to learn more.
  • The results of Jordan’s parliamentary election were disappointing for advocates of gender equality, as only 15 women were elected to the 130-deputy House of Representatives, down from 20 in the outgoing body. Click here to learn more.
  • Jacinda Ardern leads the most diverse cabinet in New Zealand’s history, appointing an indigenous Maori as first woman foreign minister, women taking eight posts and the nomination of a gay deputy prime minister. Click here to learn more

Anne Kalmari
Member of Parliament

Kibowa Faridah Hajjat
Chairperson of the National Women Council

Michela Montevecchi
Secretary of the Senate Presidency
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 nearly 20,000 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
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).