Parliaments & Representatives

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.


Africa misses opportunity to promote equality in elections
Women make up more than half of Africa's population, but their representation in politics in the past decade has been insignificant.With a numerical significance of 52 percent against their male...
Nanaia Mahuta, the new foreign minister, is one of eight women in the cabinet © Getty Images
Jacinda Ardern appoints most diverse cabinet in New Zealand history
Prime minister appoints Maori as first woman foreign minister and offers Greens two posts.Jacinda Ardern has appointed the most diverse cabinet in New Zealand’s history, with indigenous Maori...
Next Serb government among most gender-balanced in the world
Serbia’s proposed new-look government is among the world’s most gender balanced, with women named to half of ministerial posts.The lineup, announced Sunday, propels the Balkan country to the brink of...
IPU celebrates 10 years of empowering youth
On 12 August, International Youth Day 2020, the IPU celebrates the 10th anniversary of its resolution, Youth participation in the democratic process.Adopted by IPU Member Parliaments in 2010 in...
Imprisoned parliamentarians worldwide at risk from coronavirus
The Inter-Parliamentary Union condemns the imprisonment of 43 Members of Parliament around the world, saying they lack legal recourse to attain justice. The IPU is focusing especially on MPs detained...
Namibia's youngest MP enters the crucible as Africa's youth lead the w...
One of Africa’s youngest cabinet members to date is experiencing a baptism of fire.Emma Theofelus, 23, was appointed Namibia’s information, communication and technology deputy minister a week after...
Female parliamentarians still face a motherhood penalty, but the evidence global...
Why do we still rarely see mothers, especially those with young children, represented in parliament? The rarity of scenes like the one above of women successfully balancing motherhood with a career...
A gender-equal Ethiopian Parliament can improve the lives of all women
Recent gains by women in the Ethiopian political landscape offer a chance to improve gender equality around the country and put an end to long-standing societal iniquities.Since coming to power in...
In 2020, world “cannot afford” so few women in power
Press ReleaseGeneva, Switzerland and New York City, USA – 10 March 15:00 CET/10:00 ETWomen’s representation in political decision-making continues to increase but at a sluggish pace according to...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

UN Women
A Primer for Parliamentary Action: Gender-sensitive Responses to COVID-19
Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in parliament: 1995–2020 - 25 years in review
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
International Idea's GSoD In Focus: Political gender equality and the global state of democracy indices
Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in parliament in 2018: The year in review

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