The sixth event of UNDP’s “SDG local solutions” will take place on the 14th of March 2024, an exchange of experiences between two cities Dortmund, Germany and Kumasi, Ghana on the topic: getting women involved in managing cities: the experiences of Dortmund in Germany and Kumasi in Ghana.

Women make up half of the world´s population. It would then be expected that their participation in politics and decision making would reflect the same percentage. However, this is not yet the case. Data show that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making worldwide and that achieving gender parity is still an enormous challenge. 

Women serve as heads of state or government in only 31 countries and make up 26.5% of members of parliament. Women’s representation in local positions varies from 1% to 67%, with a global average of 35.5%.

Evidence shows that the presence of women in political decision-making helps leaving no one behind. For example, research on panchayats (local councils) in India found that the number of drinking water supply projects in areas where such councils are led by women was 62 percent higher than in areas where such councils are led by men.

In Dortmund, Germany the equality act of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia requires the city council to implement gender equality in the municipal administration. Although many steps towards equality have been taken, challenges remain and have led the city of Dortmund to formulate strategies to make the law a reality.

On the other hand Kumasi, Ghana conducted a SWAT analysis on the needs of women to become actively involved in local government, especially to strengthen the women who were elected in the last elections. The city has manifested its interests in deepening the learning of good practices to implement in its current political processes.

Dortmund and Kumasi have been exchanging experiences since 2011, and in 2024 the two cities will enter into a sister city relationship in order to maintain the exchange not only at city administration level, but also at a city-wide level – involving all city stakeholders, especially civil society.

The event will be moderated by United Cities and Local Governments.

Register here to be part of the learning exchange.

Download concept note here