[Translate to English:] genderüberschrift

Local Power and Women`s Rights – Gender Perspectives on Decentralization Processes

[Translate to English:] wsgen

Promoting decentralisation processes is becoming an increasingly important aspect in the context of development co-operation. It is to lead to more effectiveness, greater participation and better access for the population to government services and therefore strengthen democratic governance in developing countries. Within this context local governance is to be supported also by the Africa-EU-Strategy. Given low participation rates for women in political offices and a low level of government accountability vis-à-vis women the question arising is what prospects and risks the transfer of decision-making structures to the local level bears for the realisation of gender justice. 

With the Action Plan of Beijing, representatives of 189 countries agreed in 1995 on achieving an equal status for women at all political levels. Fourteen years later, reality is still far away from this goal. Just 18 percent of parliamentarians world-wide are women. Limited co-determination rights also entail social and economic imbalances leading to a situation of poverty for women. At the same time, examples such as that of Rwanda, where 56 percent of the parliamentarians are women, show that there is political scope that can have far-reaching impacts on women’s equality provided that it is taken advantage of. 

The Workshop discussed to what extent these and other examples can be applied to local structures and what strategies exist to promote greater participation of women at local level: What opportunities does the transfer of decision-making powers to the local level now have regarding the codetermination of women? On the other hand, how can the emergence of new inequalities be avoided at local level? What role do political measures such as the introduction of a fixed proportion of women play? What contribution can the Africa-EU Strategy make in this context? And what role can civil society and non-governmental organisations play?

The workshop will took place on November 27, in the "Haus der evangelischen Kirche" in Bonn.

The programme of the Workshop.

Local Power and Women´s Rights –
Gender Perspectives on Decentralisation Processes

"Local Power and Women´s Rights Gender Perspectives on Decentralisation Processes". Workshop of African and European Civil Society Organisations in Bonn, November 2009.
VENRO (Hrsg.), May 2010.

PDF Download the Publication.

Position Paper

Read the position paper of the partner conference in Nairobi concerning the Africa-EU Strategy.

Financially supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)