Women Parliamentarians: Rwanda Leads

  • post Type / Growth and Development
  • Date / 25 January 2006

No country in the world has more women than men in its national parliament, the recently released Inter-Parliamentary Union survey reveals. To Rwanda goes the credit of leading the list of 183 countries surveyed: an impressive 48.8% of Rwanda’s parliamentarians are women. Nordic countries dominate the top positions, with 39.9% of their parliament seats being occupied by women. Sweden (45.3%), Norway (38.2%), Finland (37.5%) and Denmark (36.9%) follow Rwanda, while Iceland, Netherlands, Cuba, Spain, Costa Rica and Mozambique occupy the top positions.

While Rwanda is constitutionally committed to sending at least 30% women to parliament, India which ranks 134th with 8.3% in the national parliament (Lok Sabha) has been unsuccessfully trying for the last several years to get a similar committment passed through the national legislature. In contrast, in Pakistan because of a 2002 law which reserves 17% of the seats in the national assembly for women (60 out of 342), the parliament has 21.3% women, which places it 40th in the list, ahead of many western countries.

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