The Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA), a non-governmental organization working to promote and protect women’s rights in rural areas of Pakistan, brought 13 women leaders at the rural and national level to the United States to talk about the future of women's rights and leadership in Pakistan.

On March 28th the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and Maternal Health Initiative with the support of EMD Serono discussed the intersections between women’s leadership, women’s health, and women’s economic prosperity in a panel discussion entitled Policies and Strategies Driving Inclusion and Productivity. The panel featured Tracy Haynes the Finance HR Leader and Business Manager for Microsoft LATAM, Lee Jourdan the Chief Diversity Officer for Chevron, Eileen Martin the Global Director of Inclusion at EMD Serono, and Francesca Molinaro the Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Director for Chemonics International.

Globally, constitutional courts protect citizens’ basic rights and uphold the constitution. According to our Global Women’s Leadership Initiative Index, women representation in constitutional courts is far from gender parity with a world average representation of 24.02% . Latin America and the Caribbean presented the best score by region (37.23%), higher than the world average and regions like Europe and Central Asia (27.37%), and East Asia and Pacific (17.78%). Latin America and The Caribbean also has a higher percentage of women represented in these courts than the OECD countries (27.41%).

In 2000 the UN passed Security Council Resolution 1325, calling for the increased participation of women in peace processes. Despite this, women made up “only 2 percent of mediators, 8 percent of negotiators, and 5 percent of witnesses and signatories” worldwide between 1990 and 2017. Evidence suggests that “when women and civil society groups are invited and meaningfully participate in peace negotiations, the resulting agreement is 64% less likely to fail and 35% more likely to last at least fifteen years.” However, we need female leaders at all levels of the peace process, especially as negotiators, peacekeepers, and signatories, not just as part of civil society organizations. When women are present in peace negotiations, they challenge norms and bring forth ideas and policy suggestions that would otherwise be ignored or forgotten. In examining the case studies of Colombia and Yemen, we see not only the historical importance of including women in peace and security negotiations, but also the potential pathways forward.

Women comprise half of the world population, yet are substantially underrepresented in political leadership positions.

Gwen Young, Director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center, shares how her organization is working to achieve gender parity in public service worldwide.

Of the eleven countries in Southeast Asia, seven have had female heads of state; but does this translate to women's political representation on a national or subnational level?