Monday, April 6, 2015


The advancement of women’s leadership has traditionally been focused on increasing women’s political participation. This is an important strategy because there is evidence to suggest
that increasing the participation of women in politics and public life makes a significant difference for women and society. The visibility of women in public office encourages greater political
engagement and mobilization of a broad spectrum of women. It helps to shift people’s perceptions of what a leader is, and challenges the idea that only men can be/are leaders. It can also give women the confidence to apply for positions of public leadership.

However, working to promote women’s political and public leadership may be ineffective if we ignore the broader political and structural context in which this is taking place, and the relevant informal sources of power and decision-making that are active in that context. This is because conventional leadership is often situated in existing power structures.
Usually these are founded in hierarchical and exclusionary patterns of power over. Globally, decision-making spaces are still male-dominated. Leaders who become part of these structures are encouraged to model prevailing power behaviors which may compromise on their principles, and are rewarded for doing so. Merely ensuring that women hold formal positions of power is therefore not enough

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