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.


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...
IPU publishes new guidelines to eliminate sexism and harassment in parliament
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the IPU has published a comprehensive set of guidelines to combat sexual harassment and violence against...
Women MPs say abuse forcing them from politics
MPs have increasingly become the target of abuse - and some women politicians say they are bearing the brunt of it.Labour MP Rachel Reeves - who has written a history of women in Parliament - recalls...
Sexism in parliament in Iceland: The numbers don’t lie
According to a new study, around 80% of women in Parliament are exposed to gender-based violence. In May, the study surveyed 33 women who are working in or have recently quit Parliament, with 25...
In Nepal, an uphill battle for gender parity
Female representation in Nepal's parliament has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. It’s the result of a far-reaching gender quota system in the Himalayan nation that has made the country’s...
To accelerate gender equality, UN Women launches a Call to Action to parliamenta...
(Tokyo, 27 June)—In the lead up to the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25) and UN Women’s ground-breaking campaign commemorating the anniversary, “...
Meet the European Parliament's youngest ever MEP
The new-look European Parliament includes the youngest person ever to sit as an MEP.Kira Peter-Hansen, from Denmark, is just 21 and was still studying at university when she was elected.She told BBC...

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