Increasing Women’s Participation in Local Government

Jessica Gomez   •   January 2008


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Devolving authority from central to local authorities can enhance government’s legitimacy and increase its accountability to citizens. Moreover, the process of decentralization can facilitate the democratic participation of groups that are frequently marginalized within formal governing structures. Women are one such group, and their policy priorities often include the issues that affect their families’ daily lives: healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Increasing the number of women in local leadership therefore can enhance the provision of basic services and improve citizens’ perception of government. Part of a series that builds on a three-year field program on the role of women in Rwanda, this policy brief provides policymakers, donors, and program planners with strategies for the consolidation of democracy in post-conflict societies.

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