This underrepresentation is particularly noticeable in local politics, where the average share of women is just 27 percent. Only about 10 percent of cities are currently led by a female mayor. Municipal representation also remains insufficiently diverse in terms of family types, age, social origin, migration experience or visible disability.
As a result, the different perspectives of all people living in a municipality are not adequately represented. This puts our democracy at risk. Democracy thrives on the participation of all citizens and their ability to influence policies and decision-making processes. Women in all their diversity still need to be given more access to entry and advancement in local and party politics. This is where we come in – with projects, programs, research and courses of study. We base our work on research and many years of practical experience.
“Increasing diversity in politics is a mammoth task. That’s why our approach focuses on three levels: individual empowerment, culture change in parties and committees, and changing the structural framework.”
Promoting women’s political participation has to start at different levels:
- Motivating and supporting women: For example, through networking, corresponding “empowerment” offers, and opportunities to obtain information to create an overview.
- The further development of party-political cultures and structures: For example, time spent on meetings and committees, working towards a more equitable work/life balance, fostering welcoming cultures for new and other groups, and reducing sexism in all its forms.
- The structural level: We advocate for new legal frameworks, such as requirements for parties to work towards equality and parity of pay and conditions, and introducing fairer quota systems.
- Empowerment and networking opportunities in the form of training courses, workshops and seminars, as well as internal and external mentoring programs. The various programs can all be conducted in analog and/or digital form.
- Studies and surveys at federal, state and local level, for example on themes of reconciliation, party cultures, representation of women in politics or diversity in political parties.
- Consultancy work for parties and municipalities, for instance on how best to develop strategies to attract more women to politics, combating sexism, family-friendly conditions, etc.
- Lectures and organizing and/or facilitating professional events to disseminate empirical and research evidence and to share instances of best practice.
- Courses and workshops on the topic of unconscious thinking patterns (especially bias in all its forms) in political contexts