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This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). It is therefore timely to take stock of the overarching picture of the state of women’s participation and empowerment in public life. Part I summarizes and captures relevant normative and legal policy frameworks and compares the conceptual and empirical interconnections among the three focus areas of the priority theme: women’s participation in civic society, their empowerment in political decision-making, and the elimination of violence against women in public life. Part II describes the evidence analyzed in the paper for each of these dimensions. Global trends at national level are monitored using data from the Varieties of Democracy project comparing 202 nations and independent territories worldwide. Part III presents the results of the analysis which suggest that when women’s participation and empowerment are understood as multidimensional, evidence suggests that progress across all pillars has not advanced at the same pace worldwide. Part V identifies several emerging challenges to women’s political participation and empowerment observed during the last decade. Part VI identifies the key lessons and policy recommendations designed to counteract these emerging risks


Norris, Pippa. "The State of Women’s Participation and Empowerment: New Challenges to Gender Equality." UN Women Expert Group Meeting Sixty-fifth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, September 2020.