Parliaments & Representatives

Parliaments & Representatives

Women make up only 23.5% of Members of Parliament according to the latest available data of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. While significant strides in women’s political participation have been made since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995, which set Member States’ target of achieving gender balance in political decision-making, women are still underrepresented in political decision-making at all levels and gender balance remains an aspirational goal.  Gains in women’s participation have been notable in countries that have taken proactive steps to support women’s political participation, including reforming or amending discriminatory laws, taking concrete action to address violence against women in politics and gender discrimination within parliaments, addressing gender-specific barriers, and supporting women in all forms of decision-making including at local level and in executive government.


Lebanon appoints first female Arab interior minister
Lebanese politician Raya Hassan made history on Thursday when she became the first woman interior minister in the Arab world.Mrs Hassan, 51, becomes the most senior of four women in the 30-strong...
Meet the 32-year-old nurse who just became the youngest black woman in the US Co...
When the 116th Congress was sworn into office on Thursday, the class made history as the most diverse group ever with a record 127 women.Among those women was 32-year-old Democrat Lauren Underwood,...
Togo : Yawa Tsegan Djigbodi becomes the first president of the national assembly...
For the first time in Togo’s history, the national assembly will be presided by a woman: Yawa Tsegan Djigbodi is the new president of this assembly.She is replacing Dama Dramani, president of the...
Senior female MPs to come together to encourage women in politics
It's rare that members of parliament from across the political spectrum sit down and unanimously agree on an issue.But that's what audiences can expect when Liberal MP Julie Bishop, Labor MP...
Are reserved seats in the parliament sufficient for women’s empowerment?
There is broad consensus that women’s increased participation in politics is necessary for both the democratic development of the country, as well as women’s empowerment in Bangladesh.In the recently...
2018 left Rwandans with a more inclusive parliament
One of the hallmarks of post-Genocide Rwanda is inclusive politics. The year 2018 brought about more gains as far as political plurality is concerned, at least in the Chamber of Deputies where two...
America has more female lawmakers than ever — yet it still lags far behind other...
By Adam Taylor,The United States has never had more women in Congress than it does now. As of last week, when the 116th Congress was sworn in, 23.7 percent of the 535 members of Congress are women —...
UK Parliament makes ‘steady progress’ on gender equality
The UK Gender Sensitive Parliament Audit, published today, finds that steady progress has been made in increasing the representation of women in both Houses of Parliament, but there are still too...
Fawzia Zainal elected first woman Speaker of Bahraini parliament
Bahrain’s parliament made history on Wednesday when it elected MP Fawzia Zainal as its first female Speaker of the Council of Representatives.Zainal, who won 25 votes from the 40-member lower house...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in parliament in 2017: The year in review by IPU
UN Women
ParlTools: A new platform by ParlAmericas and UN Women dedicated to parliamentarians
UN Women, Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in Politics Map 2017
UN Women, Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in Politics Map 2017

Related Websites

UN Women's Global Gender Equality Constitutional Database
City 50-50 Platform encourages gender parity in power spheres in Brazil
Violence against Women in Politics
E-learning Portal for Parliaments
Women’s Caucus Fact Sheet