Women Shaping The Future: A Look At Gender Equality In International Politics – OpEd


The topic of gender equality has been a prominent subject of discussion in the international discourse for a considerable period. The acknowledgment of women’s rights and their involvement in diverse domains of society, including the political realm, has been a protracted and hard-won struggle.

Within the domain of global politics, this conflict assumes notable importance, given that choices taken within the international arena carry extensive ramifications that affect individuals around the globe. Despite some advancements, achieving gender equality in the realm of international politics remains a challenging objective, with women persistently facing a lack of representation in crucial positions of power and influence. The progression of gender equality within the realm of international politics is a crucial yet unfinished undertaking, necessitating the implementation of comprehensive strategies that enable women and eliminate obstacles to their full engagement in decision-making procedures.

In the realm of international politics, there has been notable advancement in the pursuit of gender equality. This achievement can be attributed to the concerted efforts of international organizations, governments, and civil society, all of whom have been actively advocating for more women’s participation in global decision-making mechanisms. The milestone of women’s empowerment was signified by the acceptance of international agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action by the United Nations in 1995 (Women).

Organizations and initiatives such as UN Women have prioritized the promotion of women’s rights and involvement in global affairs (Charlesworth and Chinkin). Nevertheless, there are still obstacles to overcome when it comes to the implementation of measures aimed at achieving gender equality. These challenges encompass issues such as the inadequate representation of women in influential positions, the existence of a glass ceiling that hinders women’s advancement to high-level decision-making roles, and the presence of gender bias and discrimination that undermine the credibility and effectiveness of women in the realm of international politics.

The question of whether gender equality in international politics is being used wisely is a complex one. However, under the leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, the potential benefits of women’s participation in international politics have been exemplified (Wilson). The leader’s approach to leadership, distinguished by qualities of empathy and communication, has garnered acclaim for her adept management of challenging situations, including the COVID-19 epidemic. However, women encounter several obstacles within the political sphere, encompassing instances of discrimination, harassment, and inequitable resource allocation. The persistence of traditional power structures that have historically marginalized women, along with enduring prejudices regarding women’s leadership capabilities, poses significant challenges for women aspiring to attain the top echelons of political leadership. The issue of gender equality in the realm of international politics remains multifaceted.

Thus, to facilitate the meaningful participation of women in the realm of international politics, it is imperative to prioritize the promotion of equitable educational opportunities, eradicate gender-based prejudices through awareness initiatives and diversity training, introduce gender quotas at various levels of government, foster the growth of women’s networks, establish mentoring programs, and facilitate avenues for professional development (Subrahmanian). Moreover, the promotion of inclusive policies in domains such as healthcare, education, and economic empowerment has the potential to foster an atmosphere whereby the voices of women are esteemed and treated with reverence. The following measures can be implemented to effectively combat stereotypes, enhance the presence of women, and foster their empowerment within the realm of international politics.

Several countries serve as notable examples where women have played significant roles in international politics. Indonesia, Norway, Iceland, Rwanda, and New Zealand exemplify nations in which women have exerted substantial impact in the realm of international politics. Notable instances include Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, the first female president of Iceland, and the leader in gender representation in Rwanda (Meehan). The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, demonstrated leadership qualities characterized by empathy and inclusivity, hence highlighting the significance of women’s viewpoints in influencing worldwide policies and agendas (McGuire et al.). These experiences offer significant insights into the beneficial effects of women’s involvement in political activities.

Gender equality needs an exigent attention. The problem-solution approach is the best tool to resolve the issue at hand. The problem-solution framework for tackling gender equality in the realm of international politics encompasses the resolution of two primary issues: the underrepresentation of women in pivotal positions and the ongoing presence of gender bias (Greed). Legislative reforms, educational initiatives, and comprehensive training programs have the potential to effectively promote equitable representation. Concurrently, advocacy campaigns and the provision of positive role models can play a crucial role in fostering increased knowledge of the advantages associated with women’s empowerment (Kim et al.). Global collaboration facilitates the development and implementation of optimal strategies and coordination, hence creating opportunities for women to assume increasingly prominent positions in the realm of international politics.

The achievement of gender equality within the realm of international politics presents a formidable objective, yet one that is indispensable for the establishment of a more comprehensive and equitable global framework. There continue to be obstacles in the endeavor to ensure the substantial involvement of women and address gender bias. Through the implementation of legislative reforms, educational initiatives, advocacy efforts, and fostering global collaboration, it is possible to enhance the empowerment of women and enable them to fully realize their potential in the realm of politics. Countries such as Norway, Iceland, Rwanda, and New Zealand have demonstrated the beneficial effects of women’s leadership.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.  

Reference List

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Simon Hutagalung

Simon Hutagalung is a retired diplomat from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and received his master's degree in political science and comparative politics from the City University of New York. The opinions expressed in his articles are his own.

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