Campaign spotlight: Power women

Marie Birchall, campaigner at One World Action

What's the problem?
This year it's the 30th anniversary of the signing of the UN Declaration of the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. In spite of this global commitment to gender equality, we feel that women are still grossly under-represented in almost all political processes around the world. Even though women make up half of the world's population, less than 20 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide are female.

What's your connection?
I come from a political background and I have seen lots of strong women who have made a positive difference in areas of life that are important
to women. Having equal counts of men and women involved in politics is a matter of justice, and if we have more diverse representatives, then we
will get more representative decisions. This isn't a matter that affects only developing countries. In the UK, less than 20 per cent of our parliamentarians are women - that's less than in countries such as Tanzania and Afghanistan.

What are you doing about it?
We're calling for women to occupy 50 per cent of seats in power worldwide. We want people to realise that, across the globe, women do two-thirds
of the world's work, receive only 10 per cent of the world's income and own less than 1 per cent of the world's property. We're also working with the Department for International Development to try to increase support for projects that support women's participation in politics.

How can we get involved?
Go to: our website ( more_women_more_power) or you can email: mwmp@

This article first appeared in the 19 October 2009 issue of the New Statesman, The Strange Death of Labour England