Measuring progress on women’s participation and influence in decision-making in the SDGs: Recommendations to the Inter-agency and Expert Group and UN Member States

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The Gender & Development Network (GADN), of which Trócaire is a member, strongly supports the inclusion of targets associated with ‘women's participation and leadership in decision-making’ in the post-2015 development agenda (the Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs). Of particular relevance is target 5.5, which concerns women’s equal and meaningful participation at all levels of decision-making.

This paper explains why the indicators for this target should measure not only the number of women represented (quantitatively), but also the extent to which women can be actively involved in and influence decision-making processes at all levels through their participation (qualitatively).

GADN recommends that the SDG global indicators include two indicators to achieve this:

  • Proportion of seats held by women in local governments and national parliaments, disaggregated including by socio-economic status, and the proportion of those seats held at a leadership, ministerial or cabinet level;
  • Female politicians’ perceptions of the impact that they have on decision-making, by level of government.

As the paper explains, these proposed indicators address a number of limitations inherent in the current set of indicators published by the UN statistical Division.