Women make up half of the world’s population. Yet in almost every country, they are underrepresented and less likely to hold positions of power—whether as politicians, economic decision-makers, peace negotiators or participants in public debate.
The situation is even worse for peace processes. Since the 1990s, around one in ten peace negotiators have been women.
In the global economy too, women are underrepresented. The International Labour Organization reports four out of five companies worldwide are led by male CEOs.
Traditionally, many women have turned to civil society as an alternative arena of power, outside of formal decision-making structures. Currently, however, there is an ongoing and very worrying trend of shrinking civic space. This has hit women’s rights activists particularly hard, in many countries closing their only way of influencing society.