On 24–25 October 2019, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)—together with the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (ECCL) and the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) at the University of Edinburgh—hosted the inaugural event in a series of forums to be known as the Women Constitution-Makers’ Dialogue.

The series is a networking and peer-to-peer dialogue programme wherein women constitution-makers and comparative constitutional experts can share country-specific constitution-building experiences, knowledge resources and tools, and identify opportunities and obstacles to women’s participation and influence from both a country-level and global perspective. The dialogue focuses on women’s representation and participation in national constitution-making processes, examines constitutional outcomes from a gender perspective, and considers commonly contested constitutional design choices more broadly.


Publication date
24 August 2020
Erin C. Houlihan
Number of pages




Executive summary

1. Conceptual framework: current context and global trends 

2. Getting a seat at the constitution-making table

3. Defining women’s strategic interests and gender-sensitive constitutional design 

4. Gendered constitutional outcomes, implementation challenges and mitigationstrategies

5. Peace agreements, political settlements and constitution-building

6. Next steps

References and further reading

Annex A. Programme

Annex B. List of participants

About the author

About International IDEA

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Women Constitution-Makers: Comparative Experiences with Representation, Participation and Influence

First Annual Women Constitution-Makers’ Dialogue, Edinburgh 2019
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