4 May

Map of the Week: Girl Power: Women Closing the Government Gap

According to the Economist’s Intelligence Unit, about half of the world’s countries are governed by a “full” or “flawed” democracy, while another fifth is under a “hybrid regime.” Under these systems, one would hope that a historical pattern of women not having the opportunity to serve in government would begin to change as women in countries like the United States are becoming more likely to seek higher education than men.

As the European Union released their most recent Gender Equality report Vĕra Jourová – the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality – said, “We have made great strides for women’s rights, yet too many inequalities still exist and progress remains slow and uneven. So we should celebrate the progress we have made, but we must not let ourselves fall into the trap and believe our work is done. We still have a mountain to climb.” (Global Government Forum)

According the the United Nations, women make up about 22.8% of national parliaments worldwide. This is nearly twice as much as it was in 1995, but is still far below a true representation of the demographics of these countries. This week’s map answers the question: where are national parliaments (or congresses) more equally representing their demographics – at least in terms of sex?

Over time, it is clear that women have begun to seek and win office in their federal government, which is promising for advocates of equality worldwide. However, the gap is still wide at this level, and will likely be some time before it is closed. Nevertheless, there is hope and progress is being made around the globe.