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Roundtable Discussion “Federalism and Gender Equality”

9 February 2023 @ 11:00 am - 1:15 pm

Gender inequality is a significant impediment in the ability of states to achieve more just, equal, and inclusive societies. Advancing gender equality remains a topic of immediate concern and attention for governments around the world. Challenges that women and other gender minorities face in political participation and representation, ensuring equal opportunity, and garnering support and respect in positions of leadership at all levels of society and government remain pressing concerns for countries committed to addressing fundamental structural issues that contribute to continued inequality and discrimination.

Governance structures, processes, institutions matter in efforts to advance gender equality. Given the significance of this issue, examining the role that federal and decentralized governance structures can play in creating conditions in which gender equality can be advanced or inhibited is of vital importance. While various governance structures offer both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to advancing gender equality, research indicates that some of the features and mechanisms that exist within federal and decentralized systems can provide opportunities for enhancing women’s rights and advancing gender equality that other systems do not (Forster, 2020). These include the capacity to enact legislation more favourable to women at subnational level; fostering innovation and policy transfer in gender equality initiatives; and the multiple points of access for women’s political participation (Forster, 2020).

To discuss these important dynamics, this roundtable will hear from three experts on gender equality and governance in North America, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa both generally and in the context of constitutional/legal frameworks and how these structures work in practice in relation to advancing or inhibiting gender equality initiatives.


Prof. Marcelo Jenny University of Innsbruck


Prof. Erin Delaney Northwestern University

Ms. Tala Khrais Forum of Federations, Country Director Jordan

Prof. Rekha Saxena University of Delhi, India


9 February 2023
11:00 am - 1:15 pm
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