Regional forum on “Equal Participation in Decision-Making” is to be held in Istanbul, on 15-17 November

14 Nov 2011

UNDP is organizing a Regional Forum on Equal Opportunities in Decision Making in Istanbul. The speakers will include women political leaders and experts on gender equality in governance issues from the region. In Istanbul, UNDP will also launch a new publication regarding empowering women in politics.

UNDP is organizing a Regional Forum on Equal Opportunities in Decision Making (15-17 November 2011, Istanbul) with co-funding from the UNDP-Japan Women in Development Fund. 

This forum is part of a Regional Project on “Enhancing Women’s Meaningful Participation in Politics, and builds upon synergies with the Europe and CIS Component of the Global Programme on Electoral Cycle Support (GPECS), global projects on gender equality in public administration (GEPA) and gender equality in political parties.

The forum will explore opportunities to strengthen the capacities of institutions—parliament, political parties, electoral management bodies, public administration, and civil society – in   eliminating challenges and capitalizing on opportunities to achieve equal participation of women and men in decision-making. The forum will also identify how collaborative action of these institutions can lead to greater women’s involvement in decision-making.


Altogether, we expect more than 80 participants that will share experiences and challenges from 26different countries from the region.

The speakers will include women political leaders and experts on gender equality in governance issues from the region:

• Jens Wandel, UNDP Deputy Regional Bureau Director for Europe and CIS, Director of the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre
• Ulrika Richardson-Golinski, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Turkey
•  H.E. Kiyoshi Araki, Ambassador of Japan to Turkey, Embassy of Japan
• Azize Sibel Gönül, Chairperson for the Equal Opportunities Commission for Man and Woman (EOC), Turkish Grand National Assembly, Turkey
• Susan Markham, Director of Women’s Political Participation, National Democratic Institute (NDI
• Teuta Sahatqija, Chair of the Women’s Cross-party Caucus at the Assembly of Kosovo*
• Maryna Bilynska, Pro-Rector of National Academy of Public Administration, Ukraine
•  Cécile Gréboval, , Secretary General, European Women’s Lobby (EWL)
• Çiğdem Aydın, President, Association for the Support and Training of Women Candidates (KA.DER), Turkey
• Violeta Neubauer, Coordinator for International Cooperation, Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Equal Opportunities, CEDAW Committee Member
• Snezana Jonica, Member of Parliament, Representative of Montenegro to the Council of Europe
• Andreea Vass, Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister, Romania
• Rusudan Kervalishvili, Vice Speaker of the Parliament, Chair of Gender Advisory Council, Georgia
• Güldal Akşit, President, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Women’s Branch, Turkey
• Seniye Nazik Işık, Secretary General, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Women’s Branch, Turkey
• Zulfia Kochorbaeva, Association of Women’s Legal Initiative (AWLI), Kyrgyzstan
• Davorin Semenik, Secretary of the Gender Equality Commission at the Parliament, Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Samra Filipovic-Hadziabdic , Director of  the Agency for Gender Equality,  Bosnia and Herzegovina

A new publication

In Istanbul, UNDP will also launch a new Publication – “Empowering Women Stronger Political Parties: A good Practices Guide to Promote Women’s Political Participation”

This publication is a compilation knowledge and insight coming from the experiences of working with political parties.

Short info

• Improving women’s equal participation in decision-making is a key development challenge of the 21 century.
• 17 countries out of 29 from the Europe and CIS region fail to reach the global average of 19 percent of women in Parliament.
• Evolution since 2006 shows that political participation of women has been unsteady.
• Over the past six years in 11 countries in the region women’s political participation has decreased.

* Under the UN Security Council Resolution 1244

About the Forum

For more information and reference materials about the forum, please visit

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