HomeLearning CenterFewer Than a Third of UN Member States Have Ever Had a Woman Leader

Fewer Than a Third of UN Member States Have Ever Had a Woman Leader

Women currently serve as the head of government in just 13 of the 193 member states of the United Nations. And fewer than a third of UN countries have ever had a woman leader, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

In nine of the 13 UN member countries that are currently led by women, the current leader is the country’s first woman head of government. This includes three women who have taken office in the last year: Peru’s Dina Boluarte, Italy’s Giorgia Meloni and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Borjana Krišto. Roughly half of all current women leaders (seven of 13) are in Europe.

Overall, 59 UN member states have ever had a woman leader. The first was India, where Indira Gandhi served as prime minister for more than 10 years starting in 1966.

Worldwide, the number of countries that have had women heads of government has risen steadily since 1990. The biggest single-year increase occurred in 2010, when five countries – Australia, Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Slovakia and Trinidad and Tobago – saw their first women leaders.

Pew Research Center

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