In a New Year's statement as the IPU enters its 130th year, the IPU President and Secretary General say the spirit of its founding members is still very much alive at a time when parliamentary democracy is threatened in many parts of the world. This year, we look forward to celebrating our anniversary with you, by looking back at our rich history, in order to guide and illuminate us for the future. But before we celebrate, let’s take stock of some of the impact we have had in empowering parliaments in 2018, concentrating on three areas in particular: influencing global processes, promoting gender equality, and defending parliamentarians’ human rights.
The UK Gender Sensitive Parliament Audit, published on 20 December 2018 finds that steady progress has been made in increasing the representation of women in both Houses of Parliament, but there are still too many barriers to women standing as MPs or putting themselves forward to the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The audit was facilitated by the IPU and supported by the British Group IPU following the IPU’s Plan of Action for Gender-Sensitive Parliaments and toolkit to evaluate gender sensitivity in parliaments.
The global proportion of MPs under 30 has increased in two years from 1.9 per cent to 2.2 per cent according to the IPU’s biannual report on Youth Participation in National Parliaments published today. Despite this increase, when compared with the half of the world’s population that is under 30, the report reveals a sizeable deficit in the political representation of youth worldwide. Europe performs best in the share of young MPs, followed by the Americas. The report will be launched at the IPU’s fifth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan on 14-15 December.