Women in Parliament – how does SA rank?


By Laura Brothers

Around the world, women are closing the gender gap in areas such as health and education, but significant gender inequality still persists in politics. On average, women constitute only 23.5% of representatives in parliament around the world – but where do women hold the most seats?

We’ve worked with Ecard Shack to take a comparative look at women’s political empowerment around the world using all members of the G20.

Here’s a snippet of what we found:

  • Mexico takes the lead for gender equality in parliament – 42% of women hold seats. Mexico has a history of encouraging the participation of women in politics and has impressive rates of participation in the federal Congress. The law now requires gender parity.
  • South Africa ranks 2nd place out of the G20 members, with a huge 42% of seats in parliament going to women. 
  • The UK comes in at 5th place, with women holding 32% of seats in parliament. In 2017 more than 200 women were elected – this was a record high for the country.
  • The USA lags behind in 13th place. In the US, women hold just over 19% of seats in parliament. Women’s representation in Congress has gone up over the past century, but the pace of change has been slow, especially compared with other G20 members.
  • Japanese politics is a man’s world as women hold the fewest seats in Parliament compared to the rest of the G20 members, with just 9% of seats.

Although there is now more of an equal representation compared to a decade ago, it’s clear to see women still remain largely underrepresented in parliament.

Laura Brothers

Content Strategist, Aira

A: 322 Witan Gate West, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 1EJ

Credit: Ecard Shack