New issue of ‘akzente’ focuses on women: Gender. Power. Politics.

Women: Gender. Power. Politics – the new issue of the GIZ magazine akzente provides opinions, facts and background information.

Will the 21st century be the ‘century of women’ as the United Nations hopes? The new issue of the GIZ magazine akzente focuses on women and the long road to gender equality. According to the World Bank, 104 countries currently have legislation that bars women from specific jobs, and 59 have no laws against sexual harassment in the workplace.

The UN’s new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, reports on her experience of political life. The former President of Chile believes that: ‘If one woman enters politics, the woman changes. If many women enter, politics change.’ Bachelet notes that women tend to be judged by external factors, such as their appearance or what they wear, rather than by what they achieve. And she says that what young female politicians need is to not let their guard down and to keep their eyes and ears open.

Social scientist Malliga Och sketches out the route some well-known female politicians have taken to power. In her essay, she describes how women get to the top and where female leadership is already established. Och also analyses how society reacts when female politicians fail. And she tackles the question of whether women as a group govern differently.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is focusing on gender equality, too. More than two thirds of its current projects – around 900 in all – are helping to boost gender equality. This issue’s cover story is just one example. The author spent time with female representatives on the councils of Jordan’s governorates and found out how they challenge stereotypes, win over men and act as role models for girls and women. Aida Al Khattab, Vice-President of the council of the country’s largest governorate, sees coexistence as the future: ‘Women should fight for their own rights, but that doesn’t mean they should fight against men. They should develop together and become strong personalities.’ A long road – and not just in Jordan.