A new publication examining the progress made in achieving gender equality in politics was presented by the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Michael Georg Link on 25 February 2016 in Vienna, at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Winter Session.

The Compendium of Good Practices on Advancing Women’s Political Participation in the OSCE Region, compiled on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, presents good practices for enhancing women’s participation in parliaments, political parties, elections and local politics in the OSCE region.

Adopted at UN’s “Fourth World Conference on Women” in September 1995, the Beijing Platform for Action commits states to set specific targets and measures to achieve equal representation of women and men in all governmental and public administration positions. Only 17 of the 57 OSCE participating States have reached or exceeded the 30 per cent mark for women’s representation in national parliaments set by the UN Economic and Social Council.

“Looking at the remaining challenges summarized in the Compendium, we cannot be satisfied with the progress that has been made so far,” said ODIHR Director Link. “We hope the Compendium will serve as a guide to addressing the significant gender gap that remains in public and political life in the OSCE region.”

Hedy Fry, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on Gender Issues, said: “Political parties are key players in terms of women’s access to elected office and leadership positions. In line with the Beijing Platform for Action, political parties need to identify barriers to gender equality within their internal structures and programs and act to eliminate these barriers. It is time to take action.”

The Compendium was produced as part of ODIHR’s programme on increased participation of women in politics.