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As global leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, the Women in Public Service Project continues to ensure that gender parity remains at the forefront of policy discussions. Director Gwen K. Young was on the ground at the Concordia Annual Summit and other events discussing the 50x50 vision of 50% women's representation globally by 2050 - and the actions we can take now to get there.

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.