10 Facts: Women Politicians on the Rise Globally
Even Sub-Saharan Africa does better than the United States.
- In all 37 lower houses of parliament worldwide, #women make up 30% of the seats.
- Sub-Saharan Africa does better than the US on women's representation in national legislatures.
- In 2012, the country with the fastest advance in female representation globally was #Senegal.
- South Africa ranks eighth in the world, with women holding 42% of Parliament’s seats.
1. In 37 lower houses of parliament worldwide, women have reached the 30% threshold.
2. A share of 30% is considered necessary for women to have an impact on decision-making in parliaments.
3. Of those countries, 11 are in Africa. At the end of 2012, one-fifth of sub-Saharan MPs were female, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
4. Africa is on a par with the global mean with regard to women members of parliaments.
5. In many cases, the gains are due to quota systems, which are increasingly popular.
6. In 2012, the country with the fastest advance globally in female representation was Senegal, after it enforced a parity law.
7. South Africa ranks eighth in the world, with women holding 42% of Parliament’s seats.
8. South Africa’s 42% of women MPs is almost double the rate in 1994, when the ruling African National Congress (ANC) created a voluntary party quota, allocating 30% of posts to women.
9. Nigeria has increased its female representation slightly, from 5% to a still paltry 7%.
The Upshot At a rate of only 18% in the U.S. Congress, the representation of women there is lower than the average throughout sub-Saharan Africa.