The essence of contemporary democracy is the concept of representation, i.e., people’s interests are expressed via democratically elected representatives.  The right to be represented and the right to elect a representative are basic rights generally included in the Constitution.  According to democratic principles all social groups should be proportionally represented at power and decision-making posts.

Achievement of gender equality at all levels of decision-making is critical from both human rights and democratic development perspectives.  The more women and men participate in decision-making, the better are different interests and experiences represented.  Consequently, the political decisions would reflect the needs of both groups and participatory democracy would thus develop.  A balance of women and men on the political decision-making level is the basic indicator of a country’s measure of gender equality and democracy.

 

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