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.


Almost half of women in politics have faced abuse or violence
Global survey ahead of London summit finds 44% faced serious abuse, including threats of murder, rape and assault.Almost half of women in politics have faced serious abuse, including threats of...
Marielle Franco, Brazilian politician and critic of police brutality, murdered
Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco was on her way home Wednesday evening when she and her driver were shot and killed on the road.The 38-year-old left-leaning politician was an outspoken...
IPU celebrates International Women’s Day and calls for action to advance gender...
Statement by Senator Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the Inter-Parliamentary UnionOn International Women’s Day, the Inter-Parliamentary Union proudly joins the worldwide efforts to achieve...
Nicola Sturgeon shocked by Holyrood survey on sexism and abuse
Nicola Sturgeon has reacted with disappointment to a survey that found that one in five Holyrood staff and one in three women had experienced sexual harassment or sexist behaviour while working...
Highlights of IPU's Women in Parliament in 2017 Report
Global highlightsThe year 2017 saw some positive developments in women’s participation in elections, according to the Women in Parliament in 2017: The year in review, released by the Inter-...
Bullying of women in politics commonplace says Canadian MP
Burlington MP told online she was 'a traitor to the country' and should abort unborn baby after announcing pregnancy.When a social media user decided to post a derogatory comment to Pam Damoff’s...
MPs say plans to tackle Westminster sex assault claims ‘too vague’
Campaigners warn it could be months before proposals are finalised, which could leave party whips with too much power.Proposals to tackle sexual harassment and assault in Westminster have been...
IPU welcomes appointment of four women to Qatar’s Parliament
The IPU hails the appointment of four women as members of the Shura Council of Qatar, the country’s Parliament. This is the first time that women will sit on the Shura Council, which is responsible...
The lack of women leaders is a national emergency
Men run everything, and it’s enough already. Want to stop sexual harassment? Fix this now.There have been so many horrifying stories about male predatory behavior since the Harvey Weinstein story...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in parliament in 2017: The year in review by IPU
UN Women
ParlTools: A new platform by ParlAmericas and UN Women dedicated to parliamentarians
UN Women, Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in Politics Map: 2017
UN Women, Inter-Parliamentary Union
Women in Politics Map: 2017

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