Gender equality refers to the principle of equal rights and opportunities for both men and women. Gender inequality is perhaps the single most significant impediment to achieving a more just, equitable, prosperous, and inclusive world. Inequality, a root cause of poverty, instability, culture and conflict, is damaging to people, societies, and the broader global community.
Gender equality is not a women-only domain: men have an essential role in advocating and facilitating initiatives to produce more gender-inclusive societies. Moreover, the structures, processes, and institutions of governance are just one of a range of factors that conditions how women can participate as equals in society. These systems generate conditions in which gender equality can be advanced or inhibited. Federal and decentralized states, in particular, have some inherent features that can provide opportunities for enhancing women’s rights which other systems do not. Moving forward, policymakers, officials, and other stakeholders committed to creating more equal societies should consider how the features federal and decentralized systems offer for advancing gender equality can be best leveraged and amplified.