Full report
Published: 13 July 2022

Global Gender Gap Report 2022

2.5 Gender gaps in political representation

The private sector is not the only one where women's leadership has been on the rise. Longitudinal data from the Global Gender Gap Index shows that the global average share of women in ministerial positions nearly doubled between 2006 and 2022, increasing from 9.9% to 16.1%. In 2022, the countries that have the highest shares of women ministers are Belgium (57.1%), Nicaragua (58.8%) and Sweden (57.1%). Similarly, the global average share of women in parliament rose from 14.9% to 22.9%, with Mexico (50%), Nicaragua (50.6%) and Rwanda (61.3%) having the highest shares of women in parliament.

Furthermore, the highest level of public office, head of state, has been held in increasing numbers by women over the past 50 years, as can be observed in Figure 2.10. As the figure shows, women's top political leadership has not increased at a constant rate, nor has it risen equally across regions.

Regions that had a comparatively larger share of representation in the early 70s - such as South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa - have since seen a waning share of women as heads of state. In contrast, women\'s (share of time in) leadership in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia and the Pacific has been growing. In North America there was only one female head of state in the past 50 years. Of all female heads of state in the past 50 years, the longest-serving ones have presided over Germany for 16.1 years, Iceland for 16 years, Dominica for 14.9 years and Ireland for 14 years.

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