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.


Karnataka polls: Low proportion of women candidates across political divide show...
Congress member Motamma is a veteran in Karnataka politics. A former leader of Opposition in Karnataka Legislative Council from 2010 to 2012, she is the first woman to be appointed to that position....
Britain needs gender equality quotas now, Fawcett Society says
Quotas to get more women into key positions in politics, business and the arts must be introduced to address a massive imbalance of power in Britain, according to equality campaigners.With a statue...
Women parliamentary leaders to work for more inclusive politics
Women Speakers of Parliament will identify clear actions to eliminate barriers to women’s political participation, end harassment of female MPs, and promote inclusive parliaments.The 12th ...
Tammy Duckworth gives birth, first US senator to do so while in office
Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth gave birth to a baby girl Monday, her office announced, the first US senator to do so while in office."Bryan, Abigail and I couldn't be happier to welcome...
Citizen engagement in Morocco: breaking down barriers to political inclusion
By Brechtje KempMorocco’s constitutional reform in 2011 forms the basis of new laws and practices which increased civil participation in the decision-making process, but more remains to be done...
IPU gathers parliaments to discuss empowering rural women and girls at the Commi...
 Although rural girls and women made up 40 per cent of all the women in the world in 2015, according to the United Nations, they lack a voice in decision-making. In many countries, they are...
Women’s Organizations Feed the Constitutional Reform Process in Haiti
By Marie-Laurence Jocelyn LassegueAs part of its support for the democratic consolidation process in Haiti and the promotion of women's rights, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral...
Nigerian Senate President wants more women in governance in 2019
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki has pledged to work with relevant political stakeholders to ensure that a greater number of women are given the opportunity to vie and occupy elective offices...
USA: Hundreds of Former Staffers Urge Senate to Act on Sexual Harassment
Senate leadership to receive letter following recessOver 600 former staffers have signed a letter urging Senate leadership to consider legislation that would address sexual harassment...

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