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July 22nd, 2008
Ladies First
Map: Global Gender Balance

Rwanda has the highest percentage of women elected to a house of parliament. But how does the rest of the world stack up? Use this map to view statistics about the first and last place finishers within each region. The United States of America, with 14% of its legislature made up of women, and a gender balance rank of 58, is highlighted in yellow as a comparison. This map is divided into four regions — the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia/Middle East — to highlight comparisons between a broad range of nations.
Table showing Gender Balance by country
Data Key
:

Constitution adopted refers to the most recent date of ratification or major change to the subject country’s constitution, from the 2004 edition of the C.I.A. World Fact Book.

Percentage of women in legislature was compiled from the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the basis of information provided by 186 countries to the National Parliaments as of April 30, 2004.

Gender balance rank refers to a ranking of 186 countries for lower houses only, compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the basis of information provided by National Parliaments by April 30, 2004.

AMERICAS
Country Constitution adopted Percentage of women in legislature Gender balance rank
Cuba 1976 36 7
Costa Rica 1949 35.1 9
Argentina 1853 / 1994 revision 34 10
Grenada 1973 26.7 19
United States of America 1787 14.3 58
Haiti 1987 / reinstated 1994 3.6 111
EUROPE
Country Constitution adopted Percentage of women in legislature Gender balance rank
Sweden 1975 45.8 2
Denmark 1859 / 1953 update 38 3
Finland 2000 37.5 4
Netherlands 1814 / 1983 most recent revision 36.7 5
Armenia 1995 4.6 106
AFRICA
Country Constitution adopted Percentage of women in legislature Gender balance rank
Rwanda 2003 48.8 1
South Africa 1996 32.8 ** 12
Mozambique 1990 30 15
Seychelles 1993 29.4 16
Niger 1993 1.2 118
ASIA/MIDDLE EAST
Country Constitution adopted Percentage of women in legislature Gender balance rank
Vietnam 1992 27.3 18
Turkmenistan 1992 26 23
Pakistan 1973 / 2002 most recent amendments 21.6 31
China 1982 / 1993 most recent revision 20.2 37
United Arab Emirates 1971 0 121
Saudi Arabia 1993 0 121
Kuwait 1962 0 121
Bahrain 2001 0 121
Philippines 1987 n/a 121

** South Africa: the figures on the distribution of seats do not include the 36 special rotating delegates appointed on an ad hoc basis, and the percentages given are therefore calculated on the basis of the 54 permanent seats.

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  • Jaclyn

    I find it very interesting that there is an law enacted for women to have equal opportunity here in the united states, but it obviously is not held up in legislation, that is very perturbing! I find it interesting that we are the only country to did not go in on the kyoto protocol, maybe we have to much testosterone in the air. We need more women in our legislation!

  • ed

    <<>>

    Yeah – no (*&%$!) kidding. But let us not elect women for womens’ sake (Caribou Barbie…) but find and promote quality, heartfelt women! thnxz.

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