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Women’s political participation and representation has made unprecedented progress over the last century. However, women are far below equal representation at every level of political decision-making across theworld. Women continue to facethe“glass ceiling”, prejudice, discrimination and acts of psychological (most difficult to prove due to its insidious nature) and even physical violence when they join a field from which they have been traditionally excluded and actively dissuaded. Men in politics also face violence, but the motives and the kinds of violence against women are different. This phenomenon contributes to the lack of political participation and representation of women and, by extension, threatens women’s rights, gender equality and democracy.
TheFoundation for European Progressive Studies, in cooperation with theNational Democratic Institute for International Affairsand theSwedish Olof Palme International Centerconductedregional research ontheposition of women in politics in Southeastern Europe. The presentation of the researchwill take placeon December 8 in Sarajevo via Zoom.
The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on thisserioussocietalconcernaiming to discuss recommendations stemming from research andpossiblesteps onprogressivewaysforward.The panel will becomposed of the following participants: EdinaOmeragic, social psychologistfromValiconResearch;EditaMiftarifrom UN WomenBiHandprof.dr.NerzukCurakfrom the Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo.
Some of the most salientconclusionsof the research are:
Women in public life (including politics) face double standards and their behavior is observed and judged through a ‘magnifying glass’
99% of research participants think that there should be more women in politics
While both men and womenexperience violence in politics, women are subjected to particular types of violence and intimidation that would rarely, if ever, happen to men.
In addition to specific forms of violence that happen uniquely to women, the research indicates that women are more likely than men toexperience violence when engaged in politics
99% of research participants consider that patriarchy is still a dominantsystem of societyin their country
79%ofresearch participants consider that women in public life sacrifice significantly more than men.
68%of research participants think violence against women in politics is widespread in their country.
The study shows that young women who are politically inexperienced and women who, with their authority and qualities, become athreat to men’s positions are more exposed togender basedviolence
Consequences of violence in politics are pervasive and deeplytroublingfor women-ranging from psychologicaland health problems todissuasion andwithdrawal from politics
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