عنوان مقاله [English]
The main purpose of this research is to investigate the role and importance statesmanlike positions in women's political empowerment around the world. For this purpose, the representation of women in executive and legislative political positions has been studied and analyzed worldwide with an international approach from the past few decades to today. The research method used in this article is descriptive and data collection is done using library tools and internet resources. The results of the research show that there is a reciprocal relationship between women statesmanlike positions and their political empowerment, that is, on the one hand, female political office holders give motivation and self-confidence to other women to enter political activities and competitions and empower them, and on the other hand, Political empowerment of women encourages them to work in political and social fields. In addition, increasing the representation of women in executive and legislative political positions will lead to political stability, political legitimacy, equality, social welfare and effective governance; Therefore, most of the world's political and social thinkers continue to insist on the necessity and importance of women's presence in politics in such a way that the United Nations has made the improvement of gender equality and women's empowerment the third main goal for the development of the millennium. Based on the statistical data of the current research, there is hope that women can empower themselves politically and improve their current position by holding political (administrative) positions.
Despite increased international statements in support of women and the progress made in recognizing their equality with men in the 20th century, women’s position and status in terms of holding political (leadership) positions in societies are still not equal to that of men; in such a way that women are predominantly either absent or have a light presence in significant political and leadership positions at both the national (political leadership, parliament, and ministries) and international (institutions and organizations) levels which govern our lives. However, women face substantial obstacles to their political participation and attaining political and leadership positions all over the world, which, considering the historical and cultural context of each society, can be due to economic, social, and cultural issues, negative stereotypes about women, gender roles deeply rooted by the perpetuation of norms, customs and patriarchal attitudes toward women and men’s roles, responsibilities and identity in all aspects of life. In the meantime, one crucial variable that seems capable of setting the stage for improving women’s political position in societies is focusing on their political empowerment and the factors involved therein. Considering this introduction, the main question of the current research is: How does women’s holding political and leadership positions play a role in women’s political empowerment all over the world?
2- Theoretical framework
The theoretical framework of this research is based on the viewpoints of Sundström et al. (2017). They define women's political empowerment as a process of increasing capacity for women, leading to greater choice, agency, and participation in social and political decision-making. This definition includes three important dimensions of empowerment. The first dimension of empowerment emphasizes women's ability to make choices over areas of their own lives. Women should be able to determine their personal interests and consider themselves not only capable but also rightful to choose. In order to have the right to choose, women must have freedom of domestic movement, property rights, and freedom from forced labor, and they must be treated equally with men in the judicial system. The second dimension of empowerment is agency; That is, women must be active agents in the process of change within society. For women to be active agents and determine their goals, they must have the freedom of discussion, be able to participate in civil society organizations, and be represented in the journalists' guild. The third dimension of women's empowerment, which has been focused on in this research, emphasizes the role of political participation (holding political positions). Political participation requires descriptive (numerical) presence in official political positions and an equal share in the distribution of power. In this context, the candidacy of women and holding an elected political office is the main characteristic of political empowerment.
The research method used in this article is descriptive and data collection has been done using library tools and internet resources.
The presence of women as heads of state, in ministries, and national parliaments is a substantial criterion of women's political empowerment. Statistics show that women have been able to play a prominent part in political office in the past few decades, however, they have not yet obtained equal status with men in the arena of political positions. The presence of women in these positions can inspire other women to break free from constraints and change the game for themselves and many others in the years to come.
5- Conclusion and Suggestions
This research was conducted with the aim to investigate the role and importance of holding leadership positions in women's political empowerment. The results of this research indicate that there is a reciprocal relationship between women holding political positions and their political empowerment; that is, on the one hand, women political officeholders can motivate other women and boost their confidence to participate in political activities and electoral competitions; and on the other, women's political empowerment encourages them to work in political and social arenas. Also, increase in women's political representation entails stability, legitimacy, equality, social welfare, and effective governance. Therefore, most political and social thinkers of the world continue to emphasize the necessity and significance of women's presence in politics. In order to improve women’s political empowerment in accordance with the cultural context and political structure of countries, this research offers the following suggestions to facilitate women’s holding of political positions:
Repealing discriminatory laws that prevent women from holding political positions;
Presenting explicit and clear provisions in the constitution and legislation of governments regarding political equality of women with men;
Media support for women's political participation and correcting negative impressions of it;
Ensuring that women involved in public and political spheres are provided with proper child care and suitable facilities;
Taking special measures for women's candidacy, namely through legal quotas;
Demanding that governments, legislators, and political parties act more responsibly to increase women’s participation and representation;
Encouraging women to participate and play an active part in politics at local, regional, and national levels;
Some Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, do not tolerate women’s presence in political positions on the basis of their interpretations of religious teachings. Regarding this matter, it is vital that religious intellectuals show, based on religious teachings, that women’s holding of political positions does not contradict the teachings of Islam.