Why a wave of women in politics hasn’t happened yet | Politics Explained
Women make up a quarter of the world’s parliamentary deputies
The Inter-Parliamentary Union notes that with the introduction of quotas for the representation of women, their proportion among legislators increases
The number of women elected to the world’s parliaments has more than doubled since the historic 4th UN World Conference on Women (held in Beijing 25 years ago), the Inter-Parliamentary Union reported on Friday. Part of this growth can be attributed to the introduction of quotas.
Although the representation of women in national parliaments has increased, gender parity remains a far from reality. Nevertheless, we can talk about significant shifts. In 1995, Sweden ranked first in terms of the share of women among members of parliament, followed by other Scandinavian states, as well as other developed countries..
Rwanda, where more than 60 percent of parliament members are women, is ahead of 171 countries this year. Rwanda is followed by Cuba, Bolivia and the United Arab Emirates. Sweden dropped to seventh place.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union found that the Americas have made the most progress in terms of women’s representation in parliaments. They are followed by Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East with North Africa and Asia..
On the other hand, in the Pacific region, which is at the bottom of the rating, there are parliaments where there are no women at all..
Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General Martin Chungong notes that women are best able to prove themselves in countries where quotas for their representation have been introduced.
“Where quotas are applied in the electoral process, we see an increase in the representation of women compared to countries where there are no quotas,” he says. “Therefore, we will continue to focus on the need to legislate quotas to achieve gender equality”.
In an interview with Voice of America, Chungong said statistics show that active participation of women in parliaments leads to smarter and better enforced gender equality laws..
“There are more opportunities to address issues that are of particular importance to women, such as maternal, newborn and child health, women’s political participation, violence against women, sexism,” he explains. “Issues like this tend to come to the fore when there is strong women’s participation in parliament.”.
Chungong believes that the MeToo (Me Too) movement can help increase women’s political representation. He notes that the movement is directly opposed to sexism, sexual harassment and gender-based violence that keep women from participating and winning elections..