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Women and power: overcoming barriers to leadership and influence

Hero image description: Women on the radio Image credit:Ami Vitale / World Bank Image license:Creative Commons

Around the world, women now have more power than ever before. Men still dominate decision-making -- but the number of women is on the rise in parliaments and cabinets, judiciary and police forces, formal employment and education.

Increasing the number of women in political and public positions is important, but does not mean that they real power. Women in public life are often subject to sexism and prejudice. Women are less represented in the sectors and positions with the most power.

This two-year research project on women's voice and leadership in decision-making, funded by DFID, set out to understand the factors that help and hinder women's access to and substantive influence in decision-making processes in politics and society in developing countries. The project also considered whether, as is often assumed, women's leadership advances gender equality and the wellbeing of women more broadly.

Infographics

The number of women in parliament is rising, but men still dominate

Infographic: the number of women in parliament is rising, but men still dominate

Economic development doesn't automatically lead to more women in power

Infographic: economic development doesn't always lead to more women in power

More women MPs does not always mean more women in the top government jobs

Infographic: more women MPs does not always mean more women in the top government jobs

Staff