· September, 2017

Made via Canva Pro courtesy of Sydney Allen

In commemoration of International Women's Day, Global Voices is delving into the state of women's political participation around the world. This year, over 3 billion people are eligible to vote, making it the largest electoral moment in history. Women’s participation in this election year, whether through advocating for policies that benefit women and girls, turning out to vote, or outright running for office, can create significant and meaningful change and is an essential part of fostering gender equality around the world. 

In this special coverage, we highlight the distinct stories, triumphs, and challenges faced by women in the political arena. While the strides towards gender equality have been significant, systemic barriers persist — often in the form of gender-based harassment or violence — hindering the full realization of women's political potential. 

Already in the first quarter of the year, women politicians and voters from Argentina to Indonesia have faced unique gendered attacks and harassment for daring to participate in the political ecosystem. In many contexts, these harassment campaigns are launched because women are challenging the status quo and trying to reshape the political landscape of their nations away from oppressive patriarchal norms.

Furthermore, gendered harassment doesn’t happen in a vacuum — often, other elements such as sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, and more factor into the reasons women are barred from political participation and the backlash they receive for trying to overcome this.

As we celebrate the achievements of women leaders this International Women's Day, it is imperative to recognize that the journey towards gender equality is far from over. By amplifying the voices of women in politics across the world, particularly those women who have long been marginalized and sidelined, we hope to inspire action, spark dialogue, and foster greater solidarity in the pursuit of a more inclusive society. See our special coverage below for more information.

Stories about Empowering voices: Women in politics from September, 2017