Marking International Womens' Day 2018, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Senator Gabriela Cuevas Barron said the IPU proudly joins the worldwide efforts to achieve gender equality. As IPU President, she called upon male and female parliamentarians and men and women of all ages to join the fight for a better society marked by justice, equality and parity. In its work the IPU focuses on promoting gender equality and increasing the number of women parliamentarians worldwide.
The 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-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ahead of International Women’s Day. However, in global terms, the number of women in national parliaments has only increased by 0.1 percentage point from 2016, from 23.3% to 23.4%. A record number of women contested elections held in 2017, and more seats were won by women than in previous years: 27.1% compared with 22.3% in 2016.
BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from Estonia, led by the Chair of the Estonian IPU delegation and their Social Affairs Committee, Ms Helmen Kuett in late February 2018. As many of the delegation members had a strong interest in social affairs, much of the visit focused on related topics, including health policy, pension reform and disability issues, but during many of the meetings and working lunches other topics such as security cooperation, e-government and the current Brexit negotiations were also discussed. There was mutual appreciation of the excellent state of bilateral relations between both countries.