Gender, Participation and Local Governance

Women still have less influence than men on decisions made in politics, the economy, in society and in the households. Large gender disparities persist in the realm of political participation. Women are still underrepresented in political committees and have little voice in the distribution of means and political agenda-setting. They face obstacles such as entrenched social prejudices, a lack of time, skills and political networks. SDC therefore aims to ensure that all women and men can enjoy their rights and fulfil their obligations as equal citizen. SDC also promotes the political empowerment of women in order to ensure their participation in local and national politics.

However, it is not only the representation of women in decision-making bodies that is important, but that these bodies adopt and implement gender-sensitive policies. All population groups need to be included in local governance and decentralization processes. At the same time, the impact of policies and budget decisions need to be analyzed to ensure that services take into account the needs and interests of women, men, girls and boys equally.

Major topics on local governance and participation are:

SDC: Democatization, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network

Gender in Municipal Plans and Budgets: Manual with practical guidelines on gender responsive planning and budgeting at local level, based on experiences with municipalities in Kosovo


and publications on gender, participation and local governance you can find here.