Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-08-11

Increase in Women in Parliament, Glass Ceiling Remains

A survey by Independent on Sunday revealed that women are winning a growing number of seats in parliaments throughout the world, although they still hold far fewer legislative and key cabinet positions than men.

Anne-Marie Goetz, a governance specialist at UN Women, clarified, "In most countries there has been stubborn resistance to fair competition by women for prominent positions in public decision-making. The only known means to overcome that has been the use of quotas." Twenty-one of the 25 countries in which women make up over 30 percent of the parliament have used a positive quota system of inclusion. Although Goetz noted that quotas are controversial, she stated that the resulting increases in women's parliamentary presence have "become self-sustaining."

Yifat Susskind, executive director of Madre, an international human and women's rights group, pointed out that women parliamentarians expand the scope of issues debated. For example, in Afghanistan, women members of parliament helped to bring the potential closure of women's shelters to international attention. Women's influence is also needed in peace talks, Goetz noted, where they "contribute to the sustainability of the peace."

In both Iceland and South Africa, women control almost the same number of parliamentary seats as men. In the Rwandan parliament, women are the majority, holding 56 percent of Rwanda's lower house and 35 percent in the upper house. By contrast, the United States ranks 72 of 188 nations for gender parity in government. In the United Kingdom, tied with Uzbekistan for 53rd, less than one in four members are women.

Media Resources: The Independent 3/6/11; Interparliamentary Union Website 3/8/11


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/17/2014 Federal Court Permanently Blocks North Dakota's Extreme 6-Week Abortion Ban - A federal district court permanently blocked one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation yesterday, calling it "invalid and unconstitutional." The North Dakota law, HB 1456, directly challenged Roe v. . . .
 
4/17/2014 Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights - India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs. "All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court. . . .
 
4/16/2014 Female Afghan Parliamentarian Injured in Shooting Attack - Maryam Koofi, a member of Afghanistan's Parliament, was wounded in a shooting yesterday. . . .