Communist Countries: Women in Politics

Does promised gender equity show up in communist parliaments?

May 11, 2016

Does promised gender equity show up in communist parliaments?

1. Communist countries may not be known for participatory democracy, but they often place emphasis on gender equality – in theory.

2. Cuba may have made the furthest strides in putting that promise into practice. Globally, Cuba comes in third for female representation in a lower house or unicameral assembly.

3. 48.9% of Cuba’s national parliament seats are held by women. This is well above the share – or rank – in fellow communist nations, however.

4. China places 70th, with a 23.6% share, which – like the United States – is a greater share than it was five years earlier but lower in the rankings.

5. Meanwhile, Vietnam ranks 67th, with 24.3% of its parliament comprised of women.

6. North Korea’s share of women in its Supreme People’s Assembly (16.3%) exactly matches the female representation in non-communist South Korea’s unicameral National Assembly.

7. Still, the figures for China and Vietnam – while far behind Cuba – are ahead of the United States, as well as much of Asia.

8. Among other key Asian country leaders in this regard, Philippines has a 27.2% share (ranking 53rd) and
Singapore has 23.1% (72nd). But the similarities to China or Vietnam stop there.

9. The share of women in parliament is 20.6% for Pakistan (84th), 17.1% for Indonesia (104th), 12% for India (144st) and 9.5% for Japan (156th).

10. The average for Asia is 19.1% of parliamentary seats being held by women.

Sources: Inter-Parliamentary Union and The Globalist Research Center

Takeaways

Communist countries often place emphasis on gender equality – in theory.

Globally, Cuba comes in third for female representation in a lower house or unicameral assembly.

Women in parliament: China ranks 70th; greater share than it was five years ago but lower in rankings.