For the first time, there are more women in parliament than men

For the first time, there are more women in parliament than men

Recently, there have been more women in the Parliament of New Zealand than men. This is still a rarity internationally: in only 6 countries worldwide, there are more women parliamentarians than men. On average, 33% of the seats in European parliaments are women. Scandinavian heads of government have weathered the crises of recent years in their countries much better than their male counterparts.

With only 60 women and 59 men, the majority of New Zealand’s members of parliament are women. If you look at the history of New Zealand, this has nothing to do with the women’s quota, but with the opportunities women have always been afforded in this country: In 1893, New Zealand was the first country to introduce women’s suffrage. As Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern is the third woman to lead a government in the country. Women also hold the position of chief justice or governor-general and hold other important positions in this country.

New Zealand It is one of only six countries in the world where the majority of parliamentarians are women. This is only the case in Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates. On a global average, 26% of members of parliament are women.

Women in Parliament: Austria ranks fifth in Europe

In national parliaments in Europe, the ratio is slightly better: within the European Union, the average proportion of women is 33%. Sweden and Iceland hold the top spot with a share of about 48%, followed by Finland (46%) and Norway (45%). Thus, the proportion of women parliamentarians is much higher in northern Europe than in the southern regions: Turkey as a candidate country (17%), Cyprus (14%) and Malta (13%) appear at the bottom of the table. Compared to other countries, Austria’s performance isn’t too bad: around 42% means fifth place behind Belgium.

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At the bottom of the European comparison is Hungary. With its controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban, it is the country with the lowest proportion of women in Parliament for the seventh consecutive year.

There are almost no quotas for women in European parliaments

There are only a few European countries that have a quota system. It is only compulsory in France and Belgium. There is a mandatory minimum number of women who must sit in Parliament. Many other parties have adopted voluntary quotas that must be adhered to. Other countries do not have any legal regulations for a national parliament, but they do for parliamentarians in the European Union: this is the case with Spain, Portugal and Slovenia, for example.

Female politicians as role models for young girls

Women remain widely underrepresented in politics. This means a vicious circle: because women in politics are role models who encourage girls and women to follow this path as well. Its lack also discourages the potential next generation of politicians. Therefore, a certain percentage of women in top positions in the country is important. This has been proven not least by the heads of government of Scandinavia and New Zealand. They have weathered the crises of recent years in their own countries better than many of their male colleagues.

nation Proportion of women in Parliament
Sweden 47.6%
Iceland 47.6%
Finland 46%
Norway 45%
Belgium 43.8%
Austria 41.6%
Denmark 41.3%
Spain 41.1%
Portugal 40.9%
France 39.1%
Holland 37.8%
Italy 35.8%
Luxembourg 35%
Germany 34.5%
Croatia 31.8%
Lithuania 28.4%
Liechtenstein 28%
Latvia 28%
Ireland 27.7%
Poland 27.5%
Estonia 26.7%
Bulgaria 24.6%
Slovenia 22.1%
Czech Republic 21.8%
Slovakia 21.3%
Romania 20%
Cyprus 14.3%
Malta 13.4%
Hungary 13.1%
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