Agile Governance

Which countries have the most and least women politicians?

Ravi Kumar
Digital strategist, World Bank
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“When one woman is a leader, it changes her. When more women are leaders, it changes politics and policies,” says Michelle Bachelet, the president of Republic of Chile. It’s true.

Over the last few decades, the world has seen an increase in number of women leaders. It’s key to our progress. When there are more women leaders, everyone benefits not just women.

​If we want a better world, we need to elect more women leaders.

But women remain significantly underrepresented in political offices globally, according to ajoint study by the World Bank and the Women in Parliament.

Good governance can’t be achieved without women’s full participation. As International Women’s Day approaches on March 8th, let’s hope that soon there will be equal representation of women in political offices around the world. Let’s #get2equal.

Here are five countries with the highest proportion of women in parliaments: 

  • Rwanda (63.8%)
  • Andorra (50%)
  • Cuba (48.9%)
  • Sweden (45%)
  • South Africa (44.8%)

Here are five countries with the least proportion of women in parliaments: 

  • The Republic of Yemen (0.3%)
  • Oman (1.2%)
  • Solomon Islands (2%)
  • Papua New Guinea (2.7%)
  • Comoros (3%)

Countries such as Federated States of Micronesia and Palau that don’t have women in parliaments are not included in this list.

And here is a map of all the countries with women in parliaments in 2014. What surprises you the most? Share your comments below or tweet at us using #get2equal.


​Data source: World Development Indicators

This article originally appeared on The World Bank’s Governance for Development Blog. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: Ravi Kumar is a Digital Strategist with the Governance Global Practice at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. 

Image: A businesswoman walks on the esplanade of La Defense, in the financial and business district in La Defense. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes.

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Related topics:
Agile GovernanceGender InequalityLeadership
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