Political Harassment and Violence Against Women

Political harassment, a form of gender-based violence committed against those active in public life, is a fundamental barrier to women’s participation in decision-making. Political harassment or violence was identified as a priority issue during a strategic planning session held by delegates of the Group of Women Parliamentarian's 2014 gathering in Mexico City (see page 48 of this report).

This violence reinforces traditional gender roles and male-dominated political structures, and it undermines the quality of democracy, development and human rights. Political violence is a widespread yet under-examined problem, from municipal levels to national parliaments. 


  1. Videos

2. Regional and International Commitments

3. Books, Articles and Studies

 4. Project Reports, Presentations, and Other Resources


Political Harassment
(Transparencia Perú)
Combating Political Violence against Women

Political Violence Against Women: Concepts by Georgina Yemara López ( Género INE México) Political Violence Against Women: Concepts by Lucía Melgar
(Género INE México)


Political Violence: Parliament and Gender - Seminar inauguration (Género INE México) Mona Lena Krook, Associate Professor and International Knowledge Network of Women in(iKNOW)Politics Expert



Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence Against Women (Belém do Pará, 1994)

Article 4:

"Every woman has the right to the recognition, enjoyment, exercise and protection of all human rights and freedoms embodied in regional and international human rights instruments. These rights include, among others ... The right to have equal access to the public service of her country and to take part in the conduct of public affairs, including decision-making."

Article 5: 

"Every woman is entitled to the free and full exercise of her civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and may rely on the full protection of those rights as embodied in regional and international instruments on human rights. The States Parties recognize that violence against women prevents and nullifies the exercise of these rights."

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (New York, 1979)

Article 7:

"States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right:

(a) To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies;
(b) To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government;
(c) To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country."


Albaine, Laura. "Obstacles and Challenges to Gender Parity. Political Violence, Electoral System and Interculturalism," Íconos. Revista de Ciencias Sociales, 2014. (In Spanish)

Association of Women Councillors of Bolivia (ACOBOL), Political Harassment and Violence Against Women: Formal Advances and Real Challenges for Equality, 2013. (In Spanish)

Archenti, Nélida and Laura Albaine. "The Challenges of Gender Parity: Normative Tensions and Political Violence in Bolivia and Ecuador," Revista Punto Género, 2013. (In Spanish)

Cerva Cerna, Daniela. "Political Participation and Gender Violence in Mexico," Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, 2014. (In Spanish)

Hoyos, María Paula, ed. Very Political Women, Very Public Women: Chronicles of Harassment Against Women in Politics, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 2014. (In Spanish)

Machicao, Barbery, Ximena. "Women's Political Participation: Political Harassment and Violence," Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe. (In Spanish)

Rojas Valverde, María Eugenia. "Gender-based Political Harassment and Violence: Effects on the Political Work and Public Roles of Women," New Solutions, 2010. (In Spanish)

Rojas Valverde, María Eugenia. "Political Harassment and Violence Against Publicly Elected Women Councillors in Local and Municipal Government in Bolivia," Project to Support the Strengthening of the Quito Consensus to Empower Women, 2012. (In Spanish)

Torres García, Isabel. "Women's Political Rights and Political Harassment as a Discriminatory Practice," UN-Habitat Costa Rica, 2010. (In Spanish)

Valverde, Zetty Bou. "Political Violence and Harassment: The Role of the Judiciary and the Experience of Costa Rica," Revista Derecho Electoral, 2012. (In Spanish) 

Quintanilla Zapata, Tammy. Report on the Study on Political Harassment Against Women in Peru, presented to Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán, Diakonía Perú and Calandria, 2012. (In Spanish)


Butler Turner, Loretta. "The Role of Political Parties in Addressing Political Violence Against Women," Inter-American Commission of Women, 2015.

Cartagena, Silva. Political Violence and Harassment in El Salvador: Experiences and Challenges, presentation. (In Spanish)

Organization of American States. Commission of Women of the OAS Debated Political Violence Against Women in the Hemisphere," press release, February 2015.

UNDP. Federal Electoral Tribunal of Mexico and UN Women. Violence Against Women Exercising Their Political Rights. (In Spanish)

UN Women. "Bolivia: Gender-based Political Violence," Advancing Gender Equality: Promising Practices. Case Studies from the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund, 2013.