Percentage of women in parliament worldwide has nearly doubled in 20 years

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2015 marks 20 years since a conference took place in Beijing, China, where a target was set to reach 30 per cent of women in decision making positions. Photo: UNDP (file)

The percentage of women in the world who are members of parliament has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, but political action is needed to overcome the slow pace of progress to equality.

That's according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the findings of its annual analysis on progress and setbacks for women in parliament.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The annual report of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) a UN partner agency, covers not only trends of the past year, but also looks at changes achieved during the last two decades.

2015 marks 20 years since a conference took place in Beijing, China, where a target was set to reach 30 per cent of women in decision making positions.

Findings show that the global average of women in parliament has increased from 11per cent to 22 per cent since 1995.

IPU's Kareen Jabre said the majority of regions in the world have doubled their numbers, aside from Asia which has only progressed by five percentage points.

Ms Jabre said the top ten countries with the highest numbers of women in parliament is a very different picture from 20 years ago.

Twenty years ago out of the ten, eight of those countries were Europeans. Today, four of them are from sub-Saharan Africa, three are from Europe and three are from the Latin Americas. So a completely different picture and the European monopoly has been broken if I can say so. (0'16")

Countries that have progressed the most are Rwanda, Andora, and Bolivia.

Meanwhile, five countries still have no women in parliament at all—Qatar and several states in the Pacific Islands.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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