There is a pressing need for full and effective engagement of women in decision making structures in order to build inclusive cities that combat social exclusion and inequalities, and guarantee all inhabitants full and equal rights to the city. Indeed, the newly released ISO process for benchmarking sustainability cities highlights the percentage of women of the total elected to city-level office as a key criterion of inclusiveness in urban governance. More than ever, the visibility and encouragement of women city leadership is a key issue for local governments to actively engage with.
This session will lead a discussion on how local governments can foster women’s leadership and participation at all levels – from the citizen on the street to the mayor’s office. A special speech will spark off the debate by examining the opportunities for the entire political engagement process if governments are to better foster effective women leaders for climate and sustainability.
Following this, a panel discussion will lead participants through a series of key issues for women city leaders, especially, the underrepresentation of women in urban decision making. The panel will examine the ways in which this dual engagement of women in decision making and community participation can spur the development of gender-sensitive urban solutions. The session will also explore how an early cooperation of women city leaders within ICLEI could support and advance the work of ICLEI Members.
Participants will develop their understanding of the following:
– The challenges facing women in local political engagement and the ways in which global city governance structures and processes can address these obstacles.
– The impacts of equal engagement of women city leaders and women community leaders on the overall planning process, with particular regard to gender sensitive urban planning.
– How a cooperation of ICLEI women leaders’ could foster improved engagement of women in local politics and participation.