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WAPPP Seminar Series: The State of Women’s Participation and Empowerment: New Challenges to Gender Equality

February 4, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration
and Platform for Action (1995). It is therefore timely to take stock of
the overarching picture of the state of women’s participation and
empowerment in public life. Part I summarizes and captures relevant
normative and legal policy frameworks and compares the conceptual and
empirical interconnections among the three focus areas of the priority
theme: women’s participation in civic society, their empowerment in
political decision-making, and the elimination of violence against women
in public life.

The results of the analysis suggest that when women’s participation
and empowerment are understood as multidimensional, evidence suggests
that progress across all pillars has not advanced at the same pace
worldwide. Progress in women’s participation and empowerment is limited
by the continued prevalence of socially conservative cultural attitudes
and by persistent gender gaps in women’s civic engagement, their
representation in legislative and executive office, and their impact in
transforming the public policy agenda. In many places, advancement
towards gender equality in public life has commonly faltered and
stagnated in recent years – or else even deteriorated – thereby falling
well short of the world’s commitments to advancing fundamental
principles of women’s empowerment and participation. In short, warning
signs suggest that the world has been entering a chillier climate for
advancing gender equality women’ rights during the 21st century.

Pippa Norris, the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at
HKS, and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Government, has taught
at Harvard for more than a quarter century. A comparative political
scientist, her work focuses on democracy, public opinion and elections,
political communications, and gender politics aroound the world. Google
Scholar ranks her 5th worldwide in political science citations, with an H
index of 104, the SSRN ranks her in the top 5% of scholars across all
disciplines, and Ioannidis et al (2019) rank her as the most cited
political scientist in the world.


February 4, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Harvard Kennedy School


Zoom Webinar