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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
CountryConstitution adoptedPercentage of women in legislatureGender balance rank
Cuba1976367
Costa Rica194935.19
Argentina1853 / 1994 revision3410
Grenada197326.719
United States of America1787 14.3 58
Haiti1987 / reinstated 1994 3.6111
EUROPE
CountryConstitution adoptedPercentage of women in legislatureGender balance rank
Sweden197545.82
Denmark1859 / 1953 update383
Finland200037.54
Netherlands1814 / 1983 most recent revision36.75
Armenia 1995 4.6106
AFRICA
CountryConstitution adoptedPercentage of women in legislatureGender balance rank
Rwanda200348.81
South Africa199632.8 **12
Mozambique19903015
Seychelles199329.4 16
Niger 1993 1.2 118
ASIA/MIDDLE EAST
CountryConstitution adoptedPercentage of women in legislatureGender balance rank
Vietnam199227.318
Turkmenistan19922623
Pakistan 1973 / 2002 most recent amendments21.631
China1982 / 1993 most recent revision20.237
United Arab Emirates19710121
Saudi Arabia19930121
Kuwait 19620121
Bahrain20010121
Philippines1987n/a121

** 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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