Women and Power-Sharing: Leadership and Strategies

Oslo, Norway, 15-16 May 1998


The equal participation of women and men in government, in the economy, in cultural life and in society is reflective of the level of democracy in that society. A true democracy cannot and does not exclude women. This is true for communities, nations and international institutions.

For Socialist International Women, however, the goal is not simply to elect more women to positions of power in the world's parliaments. The social, economic and political structures that prevent women from truly exercising their rights in a democratic society must also be changed. We must understand the gender ramifications of policies in order to establish policies and programmes that will enhance women's equality and empowerment.

Thus, from the point of view of socialist, social democratic and labour women, several aspects of gender politics must be addressed in order for women to achieve equality. Measures must be implemented to ensure that women are represented at all levels of government and party structure. Affirmative action must be taken to promote women within these institutions, for example:

  • the preparation of more gender-balanced lists of candidates for elections of any kind;
  • the assurance of gender-balanced representation in party structures;
  • the promotion of women to leadership positions, such as ministries and executive positions in international institutions;
  • the close scrutiny of the media to ensure that women's issues are put on the public agenda and that women in public positions are well represented.

The promotion of women in and of itself will not necessarily strengthen women's position in society. Strong support should be given to women who are committed to strengthening women's position in society. Women elected to office should act on their commitment by addressing the social, economic and cultural barriers facing most women.

An important strategy for achieving power for women is to reshape policies and programmes to ensure that the situation of women is positively addressed. We must support programmes that provide for investment in people, and particularly women. Such programmes will address those areas where gender differences and inequalities place an additional burden on women. Programmes must also be evaluated to ensure that they do not explicitly or implicitly discriminate against women.

Ensuring the equality and empowerment of women will thus require nothing less than the restructuring of our societies, economies and governments. The equal representation of women and men in decision-making processes in politics and economics, in addition to being an issue of human rights and democracy, contributes to good governance and ensures a more just and productive development of societies.



A Good Education is the Best Guarantee for a Good Life

Article by Tuula Peltonen, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 09 September 2021

In Finland, schools are just beginning their autumn term. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, schools will reopen as normal and thousands of teachers will return to teaching...

Situation of Women and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

26 August 2021

Following the fall of Afghanistan into the control of Taliban forces, the Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with the international community both in condemnation of all forms of violence and oppression in Afghanistan and in firm support of innocent civilians caught up in this distressing situation...

Role of Women in Sustainable Peace for Inclusive Development and Economic Security

Article by Shazia Marri, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 July 2021

Throughout history, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the future. Whether it is the freedom struggles in Asia and Africa or the economic uplift of Europe after the Second World War, women have proved — time and again — their resilience in the face of danger and difficulty alike...

Debt Cancellation: A burden lifted from women

Article by Chantal Kambiwa, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 17 June 2021

Over the years, acknowledgement of the rights of women and girls has become increasingly central to development strategies across the world and in Africa more particularly. Does this represent a recognition of the value of women and girls and a desire to see them flourish?...

We must defend progress in gender equality after the COVID-19 pandemic

Article by Ouafa Hajji, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 24 May 2021

Women and girls paid a disproportionate price of the economic shutdown during the pandemic, particularly in developing economies — our policies need to prevent this becoming the new norm, argues Ouafa Haji...

Our Support to Sandra Torres

30 April 2021

Socialist International Women, SIW, would like to show its support to Sandra Torres, leader of the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) of Guatemala and one of the SI Vice-Presidents...

SIW Council Meeting

30 April 2021

How to reinvent our future after Covid-19

Women are each other’s homeland

Article by Hilal Dokuzcan, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 March 2021

As Turkey withdraws from the Istanbul convention – to which an AKP government acceded in 2011 – a Turkish politician reflects on the prosecution of women, everywhere. There is no homeland for women, she notes, other than other women...

Statement on Turkey's Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

22 March 2021

The Socialist International Women are very sorry to receive the news of Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention determined by the President's decree on March 20, 2021...

Effective Participation and Decision-Making in Public Life - Key to Achieving Gender Equality

16 March 2021

65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 15 to 26 March 2021

Virtual Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2021

Socialist International Women (SIW) warmly applauds this year’s International Women’s Day theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”...

Season's Greeting!

December 2020

Wishing peace and equality for 2021

SIW Executive Meeting

18 December 2020

COVID-19 and the Impact this is Having on Women and Gender Equality in the Different Regions

Declaration on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2020

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a powerful call to stand in solidarity with all women and girls worldwide...

Message of Support for Turkey and Greece Following 30th October Earthquake

October 2020

The Socialist International Women offers its sincere condolences to Turkey and Greece following the devastating earthquake under the Aegean Sea on 30th October 2020...

Message of Solidarity with all Women and Girls Worldwide during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 2020

The Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with all women and girls worldwide during this deeply painful, devastating period of the COVID-19 pandemic...


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women