Women’s representation in political decision-making continues to rise slowly, with slight improvements since 2017, according to the data presented in the 2019 edition of the biennial IPU-UN Women map of Women in Politics. The map was launched at a press conference during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) at the UN in New York. The map, which presents global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary government branches as of 1 January 2019, shows the proportion of women ministers is at an all-time high at 20.7 per cent (812 out of 3922), 2.4 percentage points higher compared to 2017. It also shows that the types of portfolios women ministers hold are diversifying. The map follows the publication of the IPU analysis of women in parliament last week which showed that the global share of women MPs (24.3 per cent) has increased by nearly one point compared with 2017.
Women’s leadership and the equal participation of women and men in public affairs and decision-making are matters of human rights which are key elements of democracy and lasting peace, and prerequisites for achieving sustainable development. Our societies will not enjoy human rights, peace, sustainable and inclusive development, if they are not grounded in effective gender parity, if they do not benefit from women’s leadership and the empowerment of women and girls as expressly recommended by the CEDAW Committee. Women’s participation and equal opportunities for leadership are at the center of the Member States commitments enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 5.
According to the IPU’s yearly analysis, the share of women in national parliaments increased by nearly one percentage point last year, from 23.4 per cent in 2017 to 24.3 per cent in 2018. This 0.9 percentage point increase confirms the continuing rise of women in parliament, at a slightly faster rate of change compared to previous years. Countries with well-designed gender quotas elected significantly more women to parliament than those without, respectively, 7 points more in single or lower chambers, and 17 points more in upper chambers. The IPU has been tracking women’s participation in parliament for decades, allowing it to monitor progress, setbacks and trends. This year’s report is based on 50 countries that held elections in 2018. IPU data confirms that the global share of women in parliament continues to rise, albeit slowly, when compared with 18.3 per cent of MPs who were women in 2008, and 11.3 per cent in 1995.