This paper presents a global data-based analysis of women’s representation in local government, use of legislated quotas and types of electoral systems in local elections, contributing to a more comprehensive view of women’s political participation and a shift in the global narrative from national to local decision-making power, a less known but critical level of governance. Women’s rights to equal political participation at all levels of government are recognized in international normative frameworks,2 emphasized in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,3 and endorsed, decades later, in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The importance of equal political participation at all levels of government is clear in the wording of SDG target 5.5 – “ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life” – and the choice of indicators for monitoring progress in achieving this target.4 Two indicators on women’s representation in decisionmaking in political life are included: the SDG indicator 5.5.1a on women’s representation in parliaments – previously included in the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) monitoring framework – and the SDG indicator 5.5.1b, a new indicator on women’s representation in local government.

Name Description Released Format
Womens Representation In Local Government October 17, 2022