Women face several obstacles to participating in political life. Structural barriers through discriminatory laws and institutions still limit women’s options to run for office. Women’s political empowerment and equal access to leadership positions at all levels are fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a more equal world. The EU’s commitment to gender equality in decision making is reinforced by the European Commission’s Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-19. According to the Commission, there is critical mass when at least 30% of women (and men) are present in decision-making positions; an acceptable gender balance ratio is considered as 40/60, and of course gender parity is 50/50.

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