Women Hold 17.5 Percent of All Parliament Seats around the World
Friday, October 12, 2007 4:31 PM

The world average of women in chamber seats is at its highest, up more than 50 percent from a decade ago.


Nordic countries continue to have the highest percentage, with women in 199 of the 970 combined seats.  Rwanda is in the top position at 48.8 percent, with women in 39 of the 80 parliamentary seats. Costa Rica is in the fourth position at 38.6 percent; women there are in 22 of the 55 parliamentary seats.  Of the 189 countries ranked, the Unites States is 67 on the list with 16.3 percent of the 535 congressional seats held by women, 87 women in all.  Pacific countries (excluding Australia and New Zealand) are in the bottom position with just 3 percent representation by women; the Arab states hold the next lowest position with 8.9 percent representation by women. 


A record number of women held top position in parliaments around the world. As of January 2007, women held Presiding Officer posts in 35 Parliaments around the world. However of the 73 Parliaments that are bi-cameral, women have a lower percentage of representation in the Upper Houses. They lag behind the total parliamentary total with just 15.9 percent as of the end of 2006.


For full report, tables, and statistics, go to: http://www.ipu.org/iss-e/women.htm


Compiled from:  Women in National Parliaments, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 31 August 2007.