Empowering liberal women in Europe to lead and succeed

2024 Call to Action

Ensuring Liberal Women can fully lead, succeed, survive and thrive in European Politics.

We, The Alliance Of Her, believe that liberalism means ensuring women have equal power, equal representation and that their political leadership is truly valued.[i] This is why we call on liberal parties across Europe to ensure female political participation is front and centre of our liberal agenda in the crucial year of 2024 and beyond.

As we celebrate important gains, and notable successes of individual women in European political life, evidence shows that systemic, structural and cultural barriers continue to hold women back. In many cases, these barriers can force women out of politics far too soon, or even put women off from participating in the first place.

Because of unequal, gendered power dynamics in all societies, women take massive risks and make massive sacrifices entering political life, and in doing so deliver greatly for their communities, supporters, and their parties. Most crucially, they have the power to inspire more young women and girls to imagine themselves in politics and become more politically engaged.

Female voters, female party members and female candidates matter. It is time for liberal parties to recognise the value of female political leadership, dismantle the barriers that hold women in politics back, and commit to ensuring they can fully lead, succeed, survive and thrive in political life.

We know it’s the right thing to do. But it’s also the smart thing to do, and the liberal thing to do.

Women’s political representation and leadership is liberal because:

  1. Equal rights and opportunities for women and men are a universal human right
  2. Equal representation of women and men in politics is a prerequisite for democracy
  3. Inclusive parliaments enhance legitimacy and representation
  4. Gender equality is conducive to economic and social development
  5. Politically active women are among the most effective changemakers when it comes to confronting illiberal and authoritarian regimes

Increasing women’s political representation and leadership is smart because it:

  1. Enhances a party’s programme and policy agenda
  2. Strengthens a party’s electoral and campaign strategy
  3. Helps combat decline in party membership
  4. Improves a party’s public image and standing
  5. Expands pool of women willing to pursue decision making roles and take part in political leadership, ensuing parties don’t waste talent
  6. Changes perceptions of society and political stakeholders and creates new leadership models
  7. Inspires new generations of young women and girls to engage in politics differently
  8. Strengthens confidence of women to influence policy agendas in parties and parliaments
  9. Ensures parties better represent and reflect society in elected office

As members of liberal parties, liberal leaders and allies in Europe, we pledge to make the following commitments:

  1. Affirm the crucial role of women in political parties and the importance in eliminating the systemic, structural and cultural barriers to their full and meaningful participation and representation in political life
  2. Enact concrete, impactful and measurable policies and actions aimed at increasing female participation and influence in political parties
  3. Create a culture where women feel encouraged and supported to pursue leadership positions and decision making roles
  4. Combat all forms of violence, harassment and abuse towards women in politics – both on and offline, as well as within parties, and take a stand against misogyny and sexism
  5. Put in place inclusion and diversity programmes in party structures to ensure women in all their diversity can engage meaningfully in decision making and representation positions
  6. Invest in initiatives, programmes and trainings that foster female political leadership and representation, ensuring this investment is not tokenistic but integrated into strategies aimed at supporting women throughout their political pathways
  7. Include clauses in party statutes that explicitly mention commitments to gender equality and equal representation of men and women in political life
  8. Foster inclusive leadership and promote work-life balance
  9. Ensure transparency regarding gender-related data within the party, including the representation of women at various levels, and regularly assess and report progress on gender equality initiatives, holding the party accountable for its commitments

Proven strategies for increasing female political participation and representation in political parties:

  1. Actively encourage women to pursue political leadership roles
  2. Undertake a comprehensive gender audit of the party
  3. Develop a party gender action plan
  4. Develop rules guaranteeing representation of women in party decision making bodies and processes
  5. Avoid superficial efforts to increase the number of women within a party
  6. Introduce, enhance or gender mainstream internal political party codes of conduct
  7. Encourage the creation of or strengthen the role of womens' and/or diversity organisations within parties
  8. Conduct research to better understand female party members’ needs and priorities
  9. Actively recruit new female party members and prioritise retaining them
  10. Make candidate selection processes open, regulated, transparent and women-friendly
  11. Introduce voluntary quotas or other measures aimed at directly increasing gender parity
  12. Introduce and support mentoring for female party members
  13. Provide political capacity-building and training
  14. Support women to balance personal and professional life in politics
  15. Make gender equality a part of a party’s electoral strategy and integrate it into its political communication
  16. Provide a secure environment for female candidates, campaign managers and female voters


[i] The Alliance of Her, is the women’s empowerment programme of ALDE Party

This is her time. And she will be heard.

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