In Moldova, during the local elections of 2019, over 24,000 women were registered by the electoral bodies as electoral competitors for the position of mayor and local councillor of level I and II. This number represents 44% of the total electoral competitors. After both rounds of elections, the Republic of Moldova has today:

  • 196 women mayors, meaning about 22% of the total number of elected mayors;
  • 300 women elected as councillors of level II (cities and districts) or 27% of the total;
  • 3,823 women local councilors of level I or over 36% of the total number of councillors of level I.

However, women make up less than 1 in 3 of top leadership positions in public administration globally, according to new data by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Gender Inequality Research Lab (GIRL) at the University of Pittsburgh. Leaving women out of these critical decision-making roles and processes, including in COVID-19 efforts, is threatening an inclusive and green recovery from the pandemic. The latest Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) report, the first comprehensive in-depth research into the issue covering 170 countries, finds that persistent gaps remain and women continue to hit glass ceilings and glass walls that stop them from advancing to positions at the highest levels of power and influence.

Gender equality is essential for an inclusive and accountable public administration. When women take leadership roles in public administrations, governments are more responsive and more accountable and the quality of public services delivered significantly improves, according to research in the report. For example, data shows that when women are in power, overlooked policy issues, such as ending violence against women, childcare services and healthcare, get more attention and there is often less government corruption and political parties are more likely to work together. As the COVID-19 crisis places unprecedented challenges on governments and their citizens, effective decision-making in public institutions and responsive and innovative public services are more important than ever.

The GEPA report provides five sets of recommendations to help shift the balance of power and shatter these glass ceilings and glass walls, including:

1.    Strengthening and pushing for new laws, frameworks and policies such as quotas and temporary special measures and creating a national gender budget;

2.    Creating institutional change, including through workplace reform, inclusive human resources policies and penalizing sexism and harassment at work;

3.    Improving the availability of quality data on gender equality and women in public administration;

4.    Leveraging and building new partnerships, such as those with non-governmental organizations and women’s movements and business partnerships; and

5.    Promoting synergies across the gender equality agenda, including through awareness raising and supporting women’s education and preparedness for civil service careers.

The improvement of women representation in public administration in Moldova is owed to amendments to the Electoral Code made in the summer of 2019, that were enforced during the latest local general elections in the Republic of Moldova. By these amendments, a quota of minimum representation of 40% for both genders in the lists of candidates of political parties and placement/ranking formula for the candidates in the list – at least three candidates for every ten seats – was observed.

According to the same amendments, the 40% quota covers the minimum representation as well in governmental offices.

Note to editors:

To view/download the full report, please visit:

https://www.undp.org/publications/gender-equality-public-administration

Check here a gender analysis of the Republic of Moldova 2019 local general elections.

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