EWA

CHANGING BELIEFS ABOUT THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN POLITICS

and empowering them to engage in public life

WOMEN IN POLITICS

LET'S (RE)COUNT!

31/195

Only 31 out of 195 countries in the world have women serving as presidents or heads of government.

26,5%

Women occupy 26.5 percent of parliamentary seats.

>1/4

Globally, less than one in four ministers are women (22.8 percent).

It is important to note that women most frequently lead ministerial positions related to human rights, gender equality, and social security, while men dominate in political areas such as defense and economy. Women account for approximately half of the population, and their views and experiences may differ significantly from those of men due to their unequal position in society.

why PROJEcT EWA?

Why it is still important for women to be actively involved in

Political decision making?

WOMEN IN POLITICS

IN SLOVENIA

1897
In 1897, the first women’s newspaper named Slovenka began publishing on our land.
1898
In 1898, Slovenian female teachers established the first women's association.
1905 - 1907
In 1905 and 1907, women's associations and magazines encouraged a strong debate about the importance of extending voting rights to women.
1911
After a change in the law regarding political associations in 1911, women were also given the opportunity to participate in party activities.
WW2
During the Second World War, women joined together in the Antifascist Women's Front and actively engaged in the fight against fascism.
1941
In 1941, the first women were elected to parliament, and in 1945, the first female minister was appointed.
1946
In 1946, women's right to vote was enshrined in the constitution, even though women were able to participate in elections for the first time during World War II.
1990
"In 1990, a parliamentary commission for women's politics was established."
1992
In 1992, the Office for Women's Policy was established.
2004
In 2004, the Law on the Election of Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Slovenia (ZVPEP) was adopted, which provides for a 40% presence of both genders on the candidate lists, with the requirement that at least one male and one female candidate should be included in the top half of the list.
2005
In 2005, amendments to the Local Elections Act ensured that candidate lists are formed in a way that guarantees a 40% representation of both genders. Additionally, candidates in the first half of the list must be placed alternately based on gender.
2006
In 2006, a change to the Election Law for the National Assembly (ZVDZ) was introduced, which requires that no gender should be represented by less than 35% of the actual total number of candidates on the ballot.
2022
In 2022, Slovenia elected its first female President in the country's history, Dr. Nataša Pirc Musar, as well as the first female President of the National Assembly - Mag. Urška Klakočar Zupančič. The current government of the Republic of Slovenia (elected in the 2022 election) consists of seven female ministers (one-third of the cabinet members), one of whom is also the Deputy Prime Minister.
maj 2022
The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (DZ) in this term (from May 2022 onwards) has 36 female members, which represents 40 percent of all members of the National Assembly, and marks an increase of 11.2 percent of female representation in the compared to the previous term (from 2018 to 2022, the proportion of women in the National Assembly was 28.8 percent or 26 female members).
2022
In the national council consisting of 40 members, there are 7 female representatives (17.5% of the total).
2022
In 2022, the percentage of women in the municipal councils of Slovenian municipalities increased slightly from 34.4% to 34.98%. Additionally, there was a slight improvement in the number of municipalities led by women, with 29 out of 212 municipalities having female mayors (compared to 22 in the previous term). Only one city municipality in the country is led by a woman - Nuška Gajšek, who is the mayor of the City Municipality of Ptuj.

women in politics

in european union

1979
The first direct European elections took place in 1979, and at that time, only 15.2% of the members of parliament were women. Prior to these elections, the European parliament was composed of male and female delegates appointed by national parliaments. Under this system, which lasted for more than twenty years (1952-1979), there were only 31 female representatives in parliament.
The last European elections.
In Slovenia, we elected an equal number of men and women in the last European elections.
2019
In 2019, the European Commission received its first female president, Ursula von der Leyen. Similarly, that same year, Christine Lagarde became the head of the European Central Bank.
January 2022
From January 2022, the first woman, Roberta Metsola, will preside over the European Parliament. In the current parliamentary session, women hold 8 out of 14 vice-presidential positions (compared to only 5 in the previous session).

TIMELINE

The fight for gender equality in the European Union.

1957
1957 - Signing of the Treaty of Rome (gender equality becomes one of the fundamental values of the community with this treaty).
1975
1975 - The European Community supports the principle of equal pay for women.
1979
In 1979, after the first direct elections, a woman named Simone Veil was elected as the President of Parliament.
1984
1984 - The Parliament established the Committee for Women's Rights.
2000
2000 - The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is adopted, demanding equality between men and women in all areas.
2014
2014 - Adoption of the directive on the prevention of violence against women and trafficking in human beings.
2019
2019 - Women will occupy a record-breaking 40% of parliamentary seats in the elections.

INTERNATIONAL LAW AND REPRESENTATION
OF WOMEN IN POLITICS

UNITED NATIONS – Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979)

 

Article 7:

 
“The States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right:
to vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies;
to participate in the formulation and implementation of government policy and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government;
to participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country.”

influences

What influences women's participation in politics?

Traditional social and gender norms can have a significant impact on women’s decisions to become more politically active. If a community still holds the belief that politics is a space where men (more appropriately and wisely) make the decisions, and women are given the role of caretakers of private spaces and problems, this will severely inhibit the level of their participation and interest in politics.

If the political socialisation of a community is committed to the perpetuation of gender stereotypes and the reproduction of traditional gender norms, rather than being based on the principles of inclusiveness and equality (in families, schools and the practices of the political system), the latter constitutes a major obstacle to women’s more active entry into politics. Indeed, women who may choose to become more active in politics are aware at every turn of the treatment of women politicians within the political arena and in society more broadly. To this it is important to add the media representation of women in politics. If women who co-create the current political space are subjected to unequal treatment in the media and are subjected to sexist and chauvinist ridicule that remains unreflected and uncriticised, we are not creating favourable conditions for women to become more involved in politics.

 The electoral system can make an important contribution to increasing women’s representation in politics through supportive legal and institutional frameworks. In Slovenia, after many years of democratic deficit due to the low proportion of women in politics, the amendment of the Constitution introduced a minimum proportion for each gender on the candidate lists (gender quotas), which has contributed to a more equal representation. This proportion was first set for elections to the European Parliament (2004; target: 40%), then for local elections (municipal and city councils) (2005; target: 40%) and finally for elections to the National Assembly (2006; target: 35%). The significant jumps in the share of women in the National Assembly should also be attributed to the emergence of new parties that perform well in elections and, due to their narrower base, also put women in elective positions and districts, and not so much to a real change in (political) culture and overcoming gender stereotypes in the area of women in politics.

Political parties can play an active role in promoting women’s political participation – they can introduce internal gender quota systems that ensure that women are also represented in top party positions, and they can overcome existing gender gaps within party structures by giving preferential treatment to female candidates. Parties could offer mentoring programmes to (younger) women potentially interested in politics, to give them a closer insight into the nature of the job and the necessary skills and knowledge for effective political decision-making. Political parties can set up special sections dealing with issues related to women’s role and position in society: gender equality, reproductive rights, work-life balance, etc., thus (in)indirectly facilitating women’s (un)broader entry into the political arena. Parties must also adequately address the issue of potential gender-based violence, discrimination and harassment (through appropriate mechanisms and strategies), thus creating a safe space that is committed to achieving gender equality.

As the burden of reconciling work and private life is still unequally shared by women around the world, who do much more care and domestic work than men, this can discourage them from taking a more active part in politics, which requires a lot of time and absence. To achieve more equal representation of women in politics, it is also important to promote work-life balance practices that are based on gender equality and that actively encourage men to carry out care and domestic work.

As politics is still perceived as a space where men have been predominantly active for centuries, women have difficulty accessing targeted education, training and creating links with political power centres that could open the door to the world of politics.

NEED AN EXTRA BOOST?

,,

Today's young women, who can study freely, speak, write, and choose their profession, must realize that every inch of this freedom was fought for at a high cost. They must show their gratitude by helping to implement reforms in their time, to spread the light of freedom and truth further. The debt that every generation owes to the past must also be paid to the future.
Abigail Scott Duniway
suffragette, 1834-1915

,,

"The best protection for every woman is her courage."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
American writer and suffragist, 1805-1902.

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"Happiness is found in independence."
Susan B. Anthony
American women's rights activist, 1820-1906

,,

"As long as a man is thinking, no one objects to a woman thinking."
Virginia Woolf
Writer, 1882-1941

,,

"I hope that my gender will forgive me if I treat them as rational beings, instead of praising their charming traits and viewing them as though they are in a state of perpetual childhood and incapable of ever becoming independent."
Mary Wollestonecraft
Writer, 1759-1797

,,

"The process begins with acknowledging the fact that American women, without exception, are socialized to varying degrees as racists, elitists, and sexists. Therefore, even when they identify as feminists, it does not change the fact that we still need to consciously work towards shedding the legacy of this negative socialization."
bell hooks
Writer, 1952-2021

Find out more about the EWA project:

The EWA (Empowering Women in Active Society) project aims to address the political participation of young women. The main focus of the project is to change beliefs about the role of women in politics and public life that are based on gender stereotypes, traditional norms and expectations. Activities focus on women’s empowerment at individual and systemic level, creating better conditions for their active participation in politics and greater civic engagement.

The project aims to:

PARTNERS

The project partnership consists of:

Founded in 1975, the University of Maribor is the second largest and second oldest university in Slovenia with 17 faculties, the University Library of Maribor and the Student Halls of Residence. Over the years, it has developed into a successful scientific institution, whose primary task and sacred guiding principle is the dissemination and enrichment of knowledge. It is rapidly developing new areas of activity, trying out new methods of study and seeking new ways of connecting with its environment.

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The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities carries out tasks within its remit concerning the status, rights and obligations of workers at work and at work, the pension and invalidity insurance system, collective agreements, employment policy at home and abroad, prevention of undeclared work and employment, unemployment insurance, and the status and overall social protection of people with disabilities, youth, children and families, scholarships, safety at work, family and demographic policy, social protection and social welfare, social assistance to disadvantaged individuals, families and population groups, the situation of women and ensuring equal opportunities for women and men, the training of children with developmental disabilities, and the protection of persons who are unable to care for themselves.

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University for Adult Education Celje is a public institution founded by the Municipality of Celje.  The core activity of LUC is adult education. The purpose and vision of the LUC is to be a modern educational centre, which follows all new developments in the field of education and aims to educate people according to the principles of lifelong learning. The Institute devotes the major part of its activities to public service. The concern for vulnerable target groups in the local community and beyond remains a constant. The Institute provides education, training, counselling and support, especially for young people, immigrants, the unemployed, people in prison, pensioners, etc.

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The IPM Institute is a think tank that provides research and advice, primarily in the field of policy. Its core mission is to contribute to building a strong democracy. IPM advocates democracy as the only socio-political system that enables universal human dignity, development and well-being. To this end, the Institute’s activities are aimed at raising awareness of the importance of democracy, promoting active citizenship as a fundamental building block of a democratic community, and empowering people to participate actively in various spheres in the local, national and European environment.

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