Whether in education – where twice as many girls as boys will never start school – or the sciences – where women only account for 28% of researchers – the link between the representation of women in decision-making positions and gender equality is strong. The presence of women at all these levels counts. It is not enough to ensure that girls go to school, women should also be part of the governments that shape education policy. Nor is it enough for more women to enter careers in science; women should also be an equal part of parliaments that shape science policies – including issues like climate change that disproportionately affect women. All these domains are affected by the serious gender inequalities that remain in women’s political participation. Although progress has been made since the Beijing Platform for Action set the target of attaining at least 30% of women in decision-making positions, in politics the reality still falls short. Today, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), only 22.7% of parliamentarians are women. At the same time, women around the world have been making their voices heard loud and clear, not the least in the political movements following the Arab Spring. It is these women who inspired UNESCO to launch this research project to help better understand the challenges that women face in Morocco and Tunisia.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.