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.


MPs say plans to tackle Westminster sex assault claims ‘too vague’
Campaigners warn it could be months before proposals are finalised, which could leave party whips with too much power.Proposals to tackle sexual harassment and assault in Westminster have been...
IPU welcomes appointment of four women to Qatar’s Parliament
The IPU hails the appointment of four women as members of the Shura Council of Qatar, the country’s Parliament. This is the first time that women will sit on the Shura Council, which is responsible...
The lack of women leaders is a national emergency
Men run everything, and it’s enough already. Want to stop sexual harassment? Fix this now.There have been so many horrifying stories about male predatory behavior since the Harvey Weinstein story...
Women in politics are also saying #MeToo
In the wake of the sexual violence allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, survivors across the globe and from all types of industries joined their voices to share...
Fewer women in Iceland's new parliament
The Icelandic general elections took place last weekend. The results show that the number of women as members of parliament decreases. The last government had 47,6% women and they will now be 38,1%,...
Working with the Tanzania Parliament on gender equality
One-third of the MPs in Tanzania’s parliament are women, making it one of global leaders on women’s representation. The Tanzania Women’s Parliamentary Group (TWPG), a women’s parliamentary caucus,...
Proposals to increase number of female MPs in Commons rejected
The government has rejected all six proposals to give parliament more equal female representation, prepared by the Commons’ women and equalities committee, including fines for parties that do not...
Study Finds Women See Female Lawmakers As More Competent, Having More Integrity
This year has brought with it a wave of women interested in running for office, particularly among Democrats. And though Republicans have seen less of a wave, Congress has gained one GOP woman...
Samoa's deputy PM explains barrier for women politicians
The deputy prime minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi Mata'afa says the uncertainty associated with running for office deters Pacific women from entering politics.Fiame, who is the longest serving woman MP...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

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
Inter-Parliamentary Union
Evaluating the gender sensitivity of parliaments: A self assessment toolkit by IPU
ipu toolkit

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