Here Are 4 Parliaments that Have More Women than Men
There was much celebration last year when for the first time in New Zealand’s history there were more women in parliament than men.
Soraya Peke-Mason from the liberal Labour Party was sworn in to Parliament in October, 2022, tipping the balance to 60 female lawmakers (or 50.4%) and 59 men.
“Whilst it’s a special day for me, I think it’s historic for New Zealand,” Peke-Mason said in a press briefing, as reported by the Associated Press.
It’s also big news for women parliamentarians around the world. It doubled the number of countries that now have gender parity or a greater share of women in parliament to six – from three in 2020 – according to November 2022 data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). That said, it is only six out of 200 parliaments around the world and none of the G7 most powerful nations are in the top 30.
Countries with the most women in politics
Globally, about 26% of lawmakers are women, according to the union. New Zealand is the first developed nation to join.
The others are:
1. The Republic of Rwanda (61.3%)
In 2008, Rwanda became the first country in the world with an elected national parliament where women were the majority. After the 1994 genocide, women played a key role in stabilizing the central African nation. In 2003, the country introduced legislated female representation quotas across its two chambers of parliament. IPU data shows that quotas are one of the most critical success factors in increasing women’s representation.
There are claims that the larger representation of female lawmakers in Cuba is the result of the country’s socialist revolution of 1959. While the United Nations says the nation has much work to do, to achieve gender equality, it acknowledges that progress is being made.
In October, 2002, Cubans approved gay marriage and greater rights for women in a referendum backed by the government, “The 100-page ‘family code’ legalizes same-sex marriage and civil unions, allows same-sex couples to adopt children, and promotes equal sharing of domestic rights and responsibilities between men and women,” Reuters reports.
3. Nicaragua (51.7%)
After the 2021 general election, more women lawmakers than men entered parliament. This has raised hopes for improved women’s rights and gender parity in a country where abortion was banned in 2006. Violence against women and poverty remain some key issues in the country according to the Borgen Project.
Mexico and the United Arab Emirates are the only other two other countries to have achieved parliamentary gender parity.
Where are the women in the G7?
The Group of 7 most economically advanced nations don’t fare well when it comes to representation of women. France is the top performer at number 36 in the ranking with 37.3% of female parliamentarians, IPU data shows, followed by Germany (ranked 44, 34.9%), the UK (ranked 45, 34.7%), Italy (ranked 56, 32.3%) and Canada (ranked 62, 30.5%).
The United States, despite the record number of female parliamentarians, is ranked joint 73rd with Lithuania (28.4%).
Over 130 years to full gender parity
These statistics highlight the slow progress being made. Longitudinal data from the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Index shows that the global average share of women in ministerial positions nearly doubled between 2006 and 2022, increasing from 9.9% to 16.1%. The countries with the largest proportion of female ministers are Belgium (57.1%), Nicaragua (58.8%) and Sweden (57.1%).