#genderequality – According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) report entitled “Women in Parliament 2015: the Year in Review“, the participation rate of women in the world’s parliaments slowed in 2015, despite gains in top seats.
The number of women Members of Parliament (MPs) across the world rose by only 0.5 percentage points overthe course of the year. Women now account for 22.6% of the world’s MPs.
The low increase among women MPs worldwide is in sharp contrast to the relatively more positive development concerning women parliamentary leaders. The number of women Speakers of Parliament jumped from 43 to 49 (out of the 273 posts globally). Women now account for 17.9 % of all Speakers. As parliamentary leaders are among the most powerful political figures in their countries, women Speakers are not only critical role models and mentors for other women MPs, they are also vital to changing mindsets on delivering change.
The IPU report also highlights the need to tackle impediments to women running for office, such as the lack of adequate finance for their campaigns, and reiterates the critical role of political parties in changing the status quo.
Through its Supporting Legislative Institutions in Somalia programme and the Network of Women Parliamentarians of Central Africa (RFPAC), AWEPA aims to empower women parliamentarians in Africa to face up to challenges and obstacles, and to reduce these challenges, with the objective of helping women in general – and women parliamentarians in particular – to contribute to the development of their society.