Structures to improve Gender Equity
Member Greens parties can implement structures and rules in their party constitution, rules, bylaws or operational policies to improve women’s political leadership and participation. The APGF aims to ensure that all member parties will adopt provisions in their internal party structures for the participation, decision making and leadership of women in the party and as electoral candidates. The implementation of the following structures aims to improve gender equity and enable women’s full political participation.
Institutionalise Gender Equity within party constitutions, rules & by-laws
Gender Equity statement
A political party can adopt a formal Gender Equity framework to demonstrate their commitment and plan on how it aims to achieve gender equity within the party (Ballington 2012).
“Gender equality – Building harmonious society needs many components and women’s rights are the one. We must free ourselves from gender-centric absolutism. In the gender-equal society, everyone is granted their own style.”
Equal recruitment practices & representation
A political party can implement transparent and equitable recruitment and selection processes for the nomination of candidate and party executives. It can also introduce rules to ensure that women are represented in party task forces, governing boards, working groups, committees and leadership positions (Ballington 2012). Similarly, parties can set targets to ensure that women represent an equal share of delegates at party conventions and conferences (Ballington 2012).
“12. Office-bearers: Office-bearers will be elected/ selected/ nominated at various levels to run the Party’s affairs in tune with its principles and ideals. While adhering to the principles equality at social, economic, political and cultural levels, and appropriate representation will be given to deprived classes, women, minorities and the youth. For aforementioned categories, special cells will be established and these categories will be given sue representation in the Party organisation. For women, initially the representation will be 33 per cent, which will rise to 50 per cent later. For all other categories, representation will be maintained as per the provisions of the Constitution of India.”
Gender balance in the recruitment of party committees:
“7.8 Provinces comprising twelve or more electorates may appoint two members to the Party Executive and two members to the Policy Committee 7.9 When a Province appoints members to Petal committees, the Party expects it to ensure gender balance in its appointments.”
Gender balance in party conferences and general meetings:
“8.8e. There will be a strong emphasis on gender balance in the selection of delegates.”
“36.2 Membership of the Administration Working Group shall consist of at least five and no more than nine Members being:
a) the Co-Conveners or the Convenor;
b) the Secretary;
c) the Membership Officer (ex officio);
d) the Treasurer; and
e) up to four other Members selected and appointed by Representatives Council. Equality of gender will be an objective.”
Rules to encourage equal participation at party meetings:
11.1 The Greens are committed to women, men and those with other gender identities having equal status within society and will practice gender equity and equal opportunity, including where appropriate affirmative action.
11.2 At no time will any member be discriminated against within The Greens due to gender, age, race, ethnicity, class, religion, disability, sexuality, marital status, or membership of a minority group.”
CODE OF CONDUCT & COMPLAINT AND MONITORING PROCESS
In order to combat the poor treatment and harassment of women in politics, a party can also implement a political code of conduct which identifies minimum standards of respect and behaviour for women politicians, leaders, members and the general public as well as a complaint system (OSCE/ODIHR 2014). Similarly, a party can implement a monitoring system to continually monitor and update party rules, processes and policies and report on organisational culture. This system should be agreed to by the party executive and understood by all party members.
“Every employee, member, volunteer and supporter of the Greens has a right to participate in Greens spaces and events without being subjected to any form of sexual harassment, intimidation or assault.”
A political party can conduct a gender audit to identify discriminatory practices and shortcomings that perpetuate gender inequity. The audit provides an opportunity to survey party members on their view of gender equity and sensitivity and the types of positions men and women occupy within the party (OSCE/ODIHR 2014).
GENDER ACTION PLAN
Following a gender audit, a political party can implement a gender action plan to implement solutions to the identified problems and shortcomings. Following the adoption of the plan, party leaders should ensure that all members are aware and committed to implementing the plan (OSCE/ODIHR 2014).
Women’s wings represent a successful, formally integrated structure to support and train women activists, candidates and newly-elected parliamentarians, analyse legislation and party policies from a gender perspective and implement and monitor gender equity within a party. Similarly, a women’s wing can get to know women active within a political party by collecting data about these women so as to be able to identify and share their skills and experiences and develop a stronger recruitment strategy based on this knowledge.
The Asia Pacific Greens Women’s Network (APGFWN) was formed in November 2015 with members from Green parties in Australia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, Pakistan, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Taiwan. The APGFWN, through project support from the Australian Greens’ International Development Committee (IDC), has implemented this Gender Equity Online Toolkit, a successful Mentorship & Webinar program and in-country Gender Equity training.
The APGFWN works to recruit, support, train and empower women in APGF parties as well as provide knowledge and expertise on issues facing women to APGF decision making through its representation on the APGF Council. It also assists APGF parties to adopt gender equity through equal representation and participation of women.
Since 2018, the APGFWN has held a webinar series in which experienced Greens women from across the globe share their experience and knowledge about Greens politics. The webinar series represents a successful case study of Greens women sharing their experiences with others
Gender quotas address the political and parliamentary gender imbalance and work to increase the number of women electoral candidates, elected parliamentary representatives and party leaders (Dahlerup 2005). They are a primary method of overcoming the historical preference of men as political candidates which represents a barrier for women entering politics (Dahlerup 2005). The introduction of successful quotas must include high targets, a strong awareness campaign to explain their purpose and benefits, appropriate and culturally-relevant language and compliance mechanisms.
Quota for women to hold leadership positions:
“9.2 The Executive shall consist of:
9.2.1 Two Party Convenors (one male, one female); two Policy Co-Convenors (one male, one female); and two Leaders (one male, one female) elected by General Meeting”
Quota for women to hold leadership positions: “For all leadership positions, women must constitute at least 50%.”