The top five countries with the largest share of women ministers are in Europe and the Americas, with Canada and Sandinista-run Nicaragua leading the way
The number of women in executive roles in government and parliament globally has stagnated with only minor improvements since 2015, according to a new report by U.N. Women, with the Americas witnessing the most gains compared to other regions.
In the Americas, which includes North and South America and the Caribbean, women’s representation has gone up from 22.4 percent in 2015 to 25 percent in 2017.
In comparison, women’s representation in Europe stands at 22.5 percent, up slightly from 21.6 percent in 2015. In Asia the number has risen from just 10.6 percent to 11 percent, while in Africa women hold 19.7 percent of the region’s ministerial posts.
The top five countries with the largest share of women ministers are in Europe and the Americas, with Canada and Sandinista-run Nicaragua leading the way with more than 50 percent of ministerial positions filled by women.
Bulgaria, France and Sweden, which is the world’s first self-proclaimed feminist government, are the only other countries to have surpassed the 50 percent mark.
Elsewhere in the Americas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay, as well as several small Caribbean countries, have over 30 percent of women represented in ministerial roles, significantly above the global 2016 average of 23.3 percent.
But Brazil has continued its alarming and worrying decline in remarkable fashion, dropping from 25.6 percent of women political representatives in 2014 to 15.4 percent in 2015.
International Women’s Day
The greatest attack on women’s representation in Brazilian politics came following the right-wing coup of President Dilma Rousseff, however: the number of women in the nation’s ministerial politics in 2017, under the coup government of Michel Temer, has dropped to a historic low of just 4 percent.
“Power is still firmly in men’s hands,” said Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU, Secretary-General Martin Chungong, discussing the global context. “Equal representation in positions of power is a fundamental precondition for truly effective and accountable democracy.”
The study was presented as part of the Commission on the Status of Women, CSW61, a conference that began in New York on March 13 and ends on March 24. As part of the study, the data was presented in the “Women in Politics 2017 Map,” which can be accessed here.