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Gender equality is smart economics, as investing in women and girls has positive effect on productivity, efficiency and economic growth.Workforce participation is an important pathway for women to access key decision-making positions. 

August 26, 2017 marks the 97th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment in the United States, which granted women the right to vote. But around the world, efforts for women's suffrage began long before 1920 and continue even today.

While constitutionally women are granted the same basic right to vote and right to hold elected office as men, the fundamental reason behind the push for suffrage and the subject of today’s celebration still hasn’t been met: equality.

Ambassador Nirupama Menon Rao is a retired Indian diplomat, Foreign Secretary and Ambassador. She was India’s first woman spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, the first woman high commissioner from her country to Sri Lanka, and the first Indian woman ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. She served as India’s Foreign Secretary as well as India’s Ambassador to the United States.

In recent decades, researchers have looked into factors driving - or hindering - gender parity across countries. In particular, studies have found electoral systems to be among the strongest predictors of women’s electoral success.

The Women in Public Service Project welcomes Dr. Sumera Haque as the newest member of our Advisory Council. The WPSP Advisory Council provides advice and guidance to the WPSP Director and the Board of Directors on strategy and issues in their individual areas of expertise, in keeping with the goals and initiatives of WPSP. As a member of the Advisory Council, Dr. Haque will offer her much-needed leadership and perspective in elevating the status of women and girls, particularly through education and health.