Systematic evaluations of interventions that aim to increase women’s political participation are not common. Part of the reason for this is that while there are many programmes which aim to improve democracy and political participation, not many of these specifically aim to improve women’s political participation. The main exception to this is the introduction of quotas and reservations, on which studies abound. Other initiatives, such as leadership training, or support for women’s cross-party caucuses are less common. Some initiatives (such as civic education programmes) target whole populations, which of course include women (although evaluations of these often show that more effort needs to be made to actually target women), or focus on specific circumstances (such as elections in post-conflict countries).
There are also few rigorous evaluations of interventions that have either directly or indirectly tried to improve women’s political participation. While this report makes an effort to identify ‘traditional’ evaluations, it largely identifies interventions more commonly discussed in comparative and single case studies, lessons learned documents, and technical guidance documents. Accordingly, it provides links to, and brief summaries of, what can broadly be termed as evaluations of the following types of interventions:
- Political party programmes
- Political empowerment/democratic governance
- Support for women parliamentarians
- Gender caucuses
- Voter education
- Cross-cutting interventions.