Public Participation

Public Participation

Conducting Self-Assessments or Audits to Understand Gender Inclusion in Parliaments Worldwide

Women’s leadership and participation in government are important for paving the way for more gender-inclusive governance and policies across all sectors. But the participation of women in decision-making depends on their safety in the political environment. Sexism and harassment of women in political spheres pose obstacles to greater public participation. We need more and better data to understand the safety of women decision makers and to take necessary steps to develop better protection for women.

We need more and better data to understand the safety of women decision makers and to take necessary steps to develop better protection for women.

Highlighting The Solutions

Using self-assessments to evaluate the gender sensitivity of parliaments

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) offers a self-assessment toolkit for evaluating the gender sensitivity of parliaments. The toolkit, which can be used as a self-assessment or by an external audit, provides a set of questionnaires for parliamentary staff regarding the numbers and positions of women (including staff); the legal policy and framework; mainstreaming gender equality; the culture and environment of parliament; gender working dynamics; and political parties. In the case of Djibouti, this self assessment findings led to the establishment of a 25 percent quota of women in Parliament. In the UK, a gender sensitive audit found growing concerns of harassment, bullying, and sexual misconduct in the House of Commons.

Other public participation solutions and findings

Out of 142 solutions found in the inventory, there are 21 solutions that are relevant to public participation, of which eight focus solely on public participation and twelve SOLUTIONS BY SECTOR PAGE 38 cover multiple themes including public participation. The use of gender-sensitive audits or self assessments are not the only solutions found in the public participation domain. Other public participation solutions in the inventory include: 

  • The integration of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) and identification systems 
  • Institutionalizing sex-disaggregated data collection on voter registration and turnout
  • Using administrative systems to understand violence against women in politics

What Will It Take to Scale Up Public Participation Solutions?

Technical assistance is key.

Intergovernmental organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary organization can provide guidance in conducting self-assessments to understand gender sensitivity in parliament. Technical assistance also applies to relevant inter-governmental organizations providing expertise to analyzing and disseminating sex-disaggregated data from administrative systems on violence against women in politics and on voter registration and turn-outs.


How Will Applying These Solutions Impact Gender Data?

The solutions associated with public participation would help fill in gender data gaps on women in government, civil registration and vital statistics, intra-household decision making, and on voting. 

These solutions address Targets 5.4 (household responsibilities), 5.5 (women’s participation in decision making), 16.6 (transparent and accountable institutions), 16.7 (representative decision making), and 16.9 (legal identity and birth registration). 

Beyond the SDGs, public participation encapsulates the fourth aspiration of African Union Commission’s Agenda 2063, a peaceful and secure Africa, consisting of “an entrenched and flourishing culture of human rights, democracy, gender equality, inclusion and peace; prosperity, security and safety for all citizens; and mechanisms to promote and defend the continent’s collective security and interests”.

To access a full list of sources for the above, click here. To view the entire report, follow this link.

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