2021 marks a decade since the U.N. adopted a resolution advocating for greater participation of women in the political sphere.
It acknowledged that “the active participation of women, on equal terms with men, at all levels of decision-making is essential to the achievement of equality, sustainable development, peace and democracy."
Since then, the numbers of women in positions of power have increased substantially, but are still disproportionately low.
Apart from representation in government, women are also leaders in civil society. As heads of NGOs, founders of female-focused philanthropic foundations or NGOs, and in their communities, mobilizing other women to join social movements.
While women political leaders are no longer a rarity, not all women feel equally able to be politically active. Factors such as class, race, religion, sexual orientation, and disability may influence a woman’s capacity or motivation to participate.
To commemorate World Social Justice Day on Feb. 20, Devex talked to three women leaders to find out why women are still not represented equally, how they're working to change that, and what advice they have for future leaders.
Victoria el-Khoury Zwein explains how Lebanese women are still not treated equally due to religious and cultural norms; Alexandra Hernández Muro speaks about why she's driven to advocate for LGBTQ women's rights in Peru, and South Sudanese MP Mary Ayen Majok tells why she encourages women to be independent and educated despite the pressure to leave school early and marry young.
Read the full visual story Making a mark: Women transforming politics.
Visit the Voices of Change series for more coverage on how far women have come in changing politics, how much more needs to be done — and importantly, how women from all generations and walks of life can work together to make women in politics the norm. You can join the conversation using the hashtag #VoicesOfChange.