Number of female candidates for mayor in 15 years grew by only 7%, CPD

The number of female candidates for mayor in 15 years has increased by only 7%. The small number of female candidates in this year’s local elections is due to the pressure exerted by social norms, shows a report on the monitoring of mayoral elections from the gender perspective, which was presented by the Center “Partnership for Development” (CPD).

In a news conference hosted by IPN, Alina Andronache, CPD expert, said that the Center has conducted such monitoring exercises for about 15 years, at each election. The first report centered on the perceptions and stereotypes of society and the population about the role of women and men in the public space, in the election process, especially in decisional posts at the local level. Then the monitoring showed that society in Moldova is patriarchal, with doubts and stereotypical views about the women in administrative posts. The current report is the second one of this series on the local segment and centers namely on the analysis of equitable representation of women and men in mayoral elections.

CPD director Natalia Covrig said the monitoring shows that the women weren’t really present at the local elections of 2023 and this conclusion is a sad one. This way, in the local elections of 2007, the female candidates for mayor represented 23.5%. In 2023, the figure rose to only 30%. This shows that the men still form a majority in election processes and are represented to a greater extent than the women. As a result, the men have increased access to decision-making after election. Even if measures were taken in time to promote the women’s participation in decision-making processes and in politics, the number of involved women remains small. This is due to the social norms and stereotypes that are deep-rooted in social mentality.

“On the one hand, we have gender roles that are becoming one of the most important barriers to the women’s involvement in politics and family responsibilities that were also stated as a barrier to entering politics. On the other hand, we have very pronounced stereotypes in society about the women’s involvement in politics,” explained Natalia Covrig.

The monitoring also showed that the women run in small constituencies, in villages, while the men run in towns. “Such behavior is due to the fact that the political parties tend to field female candidates in villages, where the power of decision is smaller, where the scale and level of the taken decisions are of a slightly smaller weight, where the resources are smaller. So, in such circumstances, the party tends to put forward women. On the other hand, the parties field men in larger constituencies, usually large towns, where evidently the resources are larger and the decisions have a greater weight,” stated Natalia Covrig.

Note: IPN News Agency offers the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements made by the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.

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