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.


Women gaining ground in the European Parliament
The number of women members of the European Parliament has doubled since direct elections were first held in 1979 but they still remain the minority, particularly in the top jobs.Women made up just...
Spain's parliament leads Europe in gender-equality despite rise of far righ...
Spain’s new parliament, sworn in on Tuesday, has the largest share of women in any European legislature, no small achievement for a country still reinventing itself four decades after the end of a...
Australia: Women in parliament to hit record high but 'long way to go'...
The next federal parliament is set to have a record number of women but Australia still has a "long way to go" until it achieves gender parity in its corridors of power.After Saturday's election,...
MPs discuss ways to achieve gender equality at CSW63
The IPU and UN Women held a joint parliamentary event at the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) on 13 March 2019 in New York. Participants at the event discussed...
Why cabinet, rather than parliament, is the centre of power for African women
How do we know whether women are achieving equitable levels of political representation? For many years, scholars have focused on women’s representation in legislatures. But in many African states...
New IPU report shows well-designed quotas lead to significantly more women MPs
According to the IPU’s yearly analysis, the share of women in national parliaments increased by nearly one percentage point last year, from 23.4 per cent in 2017 to 24.3 per cent in 2018. This 0...
Nigeria: Women who will shape the ninth Senate
When the Ninth Senate of Nigeria is inaugurated in June, there will be at least no fewer than seven women in the 109-member chamber, if the results of the February 23 Presidential and National...
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,...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

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
UNDP and IPU: Global Parliamentary Report 2017
UN Women
ParlTools: A new platform by ParlAmericas and UN Women dedicated to parliamentarians

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