The Empowerment of Women: Beyond Numbers

Yaoundé, Cameroon, 16 April 2005


The accession of a greater number of women to positions of power is not only a necessary condition for ensuring that women's interests are taken into consideration by governments and society but also strengthens a democracy that serves the common good. Yet this goal cannot be reduced to a question of numbers.

For Socialist International Women it is essential to:

  • Change the social, economic and political structures that prevent women from truly exercising their rights in a democratic society;
  • Implement policies and programmes to reduce the disparities between women and men by taking proper account of gender issues, and to effectively monitor such policies and evaluate their impact;
  • Place particular emphasis on a gender based analysis to develop policies and programmes that not only allow women to accede to positions of power but also confer power upon them in reality and to
  • Introduce measures to guarantee the representation of women in decision-making posts at all levels of government and political parties.
  • Socialist International Women thus calls on member parties of the Socialist International to:
  • Encourage and to actively promote alliances between women's organisations, so that they may co-ordinate their activities and provide support to women politicians and elected representatives;
  • Offer firm support to women charged with strengthening the position of women within their parties and in society;
  • Increase women's capacity for leadership by offering them – especially young women – programmes enabling them to acquire the skills required in their official roles. Women elected to office should act on their mandate by addressing the social, economic and cultural barriers facing most women. They should make use of their skills in conflict resolution;
  • Adoptand implement measures to bring about equality between the sexes and ensure that women do in fact play a role in parties' decision-making at every level. Ensure that they are selected as candidates in winnable seats in every election and
  • Examine the functioning of parties and replace the mechanisms and practices obstructing women's participation with arrangements that engage the interests of all and take into account the social, economic and cultural context of women.
  • Finally, Socialist International Women calls on governments to:
  • Ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention, if they have not already done so;
  • Implement the Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995 and the Outcome Document of Beijing +5 adopted in New York in June 2000;
  • Adopt a gender perspective in all policies, programmes and budgets. Consistent budgets should be allocated to the promotion of women's rights and gender equality, to reflect the commitment of governments and to
  • Ensure that women participate in the conception, preparation and implementation of budgets so as to move on from commitments to their effective implementation and to help meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the objectives of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).



Connecting Rural Women – E-Development and Rural Women's Empowerment

16 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Side Event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the UN; the Mongolian People’s Party; Socialist International Women(SIW) and PES Women

Empowering Rural Women: Granting Universal Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

15 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), PES Women and Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2018

In solidarity and recognition of the immense societal, economic and political achievements of women and girls worldwide Socialist International Women is proud to support International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018...

Statement on Unilateral Decision by the United States of America to Recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

07 December 2017

The Socialist International Women (SIW) disapproves the decision of President Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy there from Tel Aviv...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2017

Socialist International Women affirms its support for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as an opportunity to focus on the continuing suffering and oppression of women and girls worldwide, and the vital roles that governments and individuals have in creating positive change...

Council Meeting

Barcelona, Spain, 21 and 22 November 2017

Democracy in Crisis, Populism on the Rise - Where do Women's Rights fit in?

Council Meeting

United Nations, New York, 14 July 2017

Rural Areas, Media and ICT - New Challenges and More Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment

In Memory of Carmen Chacón

13 March 1971 - 09 April 2017

The Socialist International Women was deeply saddened to receive the news of the death of Carmen Chacón on 09 April 2017 at the age of 46 years...

Council Meeting and XXI Congress

25 - 27 February 2017

Gender Inequality in the World Today – Understanding the New Challenges and Ending Gender Inequality by 2030

UN Climate Change Conference 2016

Conference of the Parties (COP22), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Marrakech, Morroco, 07 to 18 November 2016

Parallel event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), the Forum of the African Women Post 2015 and Jossour Forum of the Moroccan Women, Bab Ighli Site, Green Zone, 14 November 2016

Former SI President António Guterres to become next UN Secretary General

06 October 2016

The Socialist International Women (SIW) would like to congratulate António Guterres on being chosen as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Council Meeting

28 and 29 June 2016

The UN Sustainable Development Goals – Gender Sensitive Budgeting and Climate Change


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women