Women, Policy and Political Leadership: Regional Perspectives

While women’s presence in parliament has largely increased around the world, full gender parity remains elusive. Women’s participation in politics and their secure access to political life is vital for democratic development and sustainability.

A virtual panel discussion, “Women, Policy and Political Leadership: Regional Perspectives,” showcased a new edited collection of the same title that brings together regional perspectives to address the role of women parliamentarians around the world. The event took place January 29, 2021.

Speakers discussed women’s progress in Latin America and Asia. They also shared their insights on how various forms of policy adoptions such as gender quotas have shaped women’s access to power, how women’s political status has changed over time, and what remains to be done for women to gain full political empowerment.

Panelists included Bridget Welsh, an honorary research associate at the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Young-Im Lee, an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento in Sacramento, California, USA; and Jennifer M. Piscopo, an associate professor of politics at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Farida Jalalzai, associate dean for global initiatives and engagement in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a professor of political science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, moderated the event.

Christian Echle, director of the Regional Programme Political Dialogue Asia Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Singapore, provided opening remarks, and Megha Sarmah, research officer at the Regional Programme Political Dialogue Asia, offered closing remarks. Echle and Sarmah serve as editors of the newly published book Women, Policy and Political Leadership: Regional Perspectives.

Fellows of the Asian Democratic Leaders Alliance also provided insights into their political careers.

The event was sponsored by the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human and Sciences in the United States and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Singapore.