Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Breaking down barriers to women's political power: an era-defining election year

Time (GMT +00) 18:30 19:30
Image credit:Design by Maia - ALIGN
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.


This year more than ever, as billions of people around the world go to the polls, women’s political participation is critical. Its importance is enshrined in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a blueprint for women’s rights that emphasises equal participation at all levels of political power and decision-making. Yet almost three decades on from Beijing, gender norms remain a persistent barrier across the board, from casting a vote to joining a political party to running for political office.

Gender norms also shape voter attitudes and media representations of women in politics. Technological advances, particularly around generative AI, bring renewed urgency to longstanding concerns around misinformation, deepfakes and online violence, which disproportionately impact women in the public eye. This is a global challenge: around the world, political institutions systemically exclude women, enabling the systemic over-representation of men in positions of political decision-making.

This event brings together former political leaders and gender experts to reflect on actions to promote and embolden women’s political participation. We will explore innovative solutions and strategies to transform norms, and showcase the work of feminist movements, politicians and researchers pushing for change.


  • Helen Clark

    Helen Clark

    Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

  • Michelle King ODI

    Michelle King

    Chief People Officer, ODI (chair)

  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

    Founder, Umlambo Foundation

  • Maliha Khan

    Maliha Khan

    President and Chief Executive Officer, Women Deliver

  • Jan Michalko

    Ján Michalko

    Research Fellow, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion, ODI