Political power for and active participation of women in international, national and local politics were some of the earliest goals of the Feminist movement. Still today women around the world are underrepresented in power positions, in elections, as members of political parties, as candidates to democratic institutions, as legislators, as political leaders, and as policy makers. Women willing to partake in public life often face cultural barriers and stereotypes.
From the very personal to the highly public levels in society, power relations and power differences lie at the basis of women’s oppression. Without women in leading positions to shift the balance, women will continue to be excluded from political participation, and politics will remain a male domain and privilege. Women’s autonomy in social, economic and political life is a necessary condition for true democracy. Goals of equality, zero tolerance of violence, development, sustainability and peace cannot be achieved without women’s participation in the political process.
The Institute for Feminism & Human Rights works to promote women’s political power, leadership and democratic participation internationally and locally. IF&HR provides support to women’s decision-making projects and political initiatives, while working against the obstacles that prevent us from full participation, such as discrimination based on sex, sex-specific stereotypes and social, economic, legal and political inequalities.