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This policy brief suggests measures to increase women’s leadership in politics.
Women’s leadership in political spheres is shown to be socially beneficial (World Economic Forum, 2017), and is a matter of women’s right to equal opportunity and access. While in the Asia Pacific region women’s political participation has increased since the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995, the region lags behind global trends: women’s parliamentary representation in Lower or Single House in the region is 20%, whereas the global average is 25%.
Though there has been progress over the past 25 years (Figure 1), there is still much room for improvement to reach the 30 percent threshold. Sub-regions face different challenges with regards to women’s political participation. For instance, while East and Northeast Asia currently has the highest representation of women in parliament, the rate of the change has been the slowest. If the current rate of annual change can be sustained, North and Central Asia would be the only sub-region to meet the 30% threshold by 2030.
Though there are different patterns across the region, all countries may consider the strategies in this brief to stimulate women’s political leadership.

Social Development Division +66 2288 1234 [email protected]