Policy Roundtable: Gender and Politics in the Global South

The past decade has witnessed a significant increase in women's presence in local politics. According to the newly published United Nations (UN) Women in Local Government data set, women constitute 36 percent of local deliberative bodies worldwide compared to merely 25 percent in national parliaments. Much of this increase is the result of gender quotas: the Gender Quotas Database (International IDEA 2022) shows that as of 2021, 75 countries had some form of gender quota on the local level. Yet, extant work on gender politics tends to focus on the national level. 

What challenges remain for women's participation in local politics? Why does women's participation matter in local political processes? And how can women's presence and influence in subnational decision-making bodies be promoted? We invite you to join us as we discuss these questions in GLD's upcoming policy roundtable on gender and local politics in the Global South. We will bring together regional and country experts working on the intersection of gender and local politics in India, the Middle East and Africa.

4 April 2024

16:00 CEST - 10:00 ET 


Welcome to join!

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Safia Farole, Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Global Affairs at Portland State University. 

Safia's research interests include local politics, party systems, and elections in Africa. She has published articles in the journals Party Politics, Comparative Politics, Government & Opposition, Global Studies Quarterly, and Comparative Strategy.  In the 2022-2023 academic year, she was awarded the Craig Wollner Memorial Award for Junior Faculty, which recognizes excellence in research and teaching by one junior faculty member in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at PSU. In the 2021-2022 academic year, she was the recipient of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Post-Doctoral Fellowship. n June 2019, she received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).




Marwa Shalaby, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Shalaby’s research areas are gender politics, authoritarianism, and legislative politics. Her work focuses on the intersection of legislative politics, authoritarianism, and women in politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Gender and the Review of Economics and Political Science. Shalaby is also a steering committee member of the GLD Institute. Shalaby’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political StudiesPolitics and Gender, Comparative Politics, Governance; PS: Political Science & Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Parliamentary Affairs, among others.  




Anjali Thomas, Associate Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Anjali specializes in comparative politics and political economy with a focus on India. The substantive questions that drive her current research have to do with the politics of public service provision, local and multi-level governance, gender disparities, and distributive politics. Anjali is the author of Democratization from Above: The Logic of Local Democracy in the Developing World, published with Cambridge University Press (2016). Her recent articles have been published in The American Journal of Political Science (x2), The British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and Political Research Quarterly. Her major ongoing projects focus on the pathways through which citizens gain formalized access to services and on the role of state actors in shaping citizens’ pro-developmental attitudes and behaviors.




Allison Sambo, Director of Evaluation & Analytics, Global Fund for Women.


Allison is a researcher and analyst with significant experience in applied, mixed-methods research and evaluation. She has worked in both academic research and project monitoring and evaluation in East and West Africa. She has experience developing and managing monitoring and evaluation systems for social and behavior change programs by UNICEF, UNHCR, USAID and private foundations. Allison received her Master of International Public Affairs and her PhD in Development Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a dissertation on bilateral/multilateral funding for gender equality and empowerment and the efficacy of financing on gender equality and empowerment. Her current work and research focus on measuring social movement capacities, the roles and relationships between social movement actors, and utilization of technologies to map, assess, and support social movements and social movement actors.

Watch GLD's previous roundtables on YouTube!