By Annika Silva-Leander
7 March 2022

Inequality in gender representation was mirrored at the Summit for Democracy convened by the US administration in December 2021, to galvanize countries around a global democracy agenda. Of the 98 official statements made by countries, only 11 were made by women – 12 when taking into account the statement by the European Commission (International IDEA).

While women were underrepresented among the speakers, gender equality ranked higher in the discourse of political leaders present at the Summit. More than a third of official statements made reference to the importance of guaranteeing gender equality. Among the aspirational commitments to strengthen democracy at home, promoting gender equality ranked as a third priority after fighting corruption and countering racism and discrimination. Among efforts to strengthen democracy abroad, gender equality ranked high (fifth priority), although not as high as for domestic efforts, with issues such as media freedom, technology and democracy, corruption and human rights coming out on top (International IDEA).