A quarterly update of the political domain of the European Commission's database on women and men in decision-making has just been completed.
Data were collected between 26th April and 19th May 2010 and cover the results of national and regional elections that have taken place since early March 2010 and any recent changes in the composition of governments.
Selected developments in terms of the gender balance include:
- Parliamentary elections in Hungary and in the UK resulted in relatively small changes in the gender balance and the respective leaders of the house remain male. The new Hungarian parliament includes slightly fewer women than before (9% compared to 11%) whilst in the UK the number of women MPs reached its highest level ever - 142 out of a total of 649 members currently declared (22% compared to 19% previously).
- In Hungary the new government is all male, as was the case for the outgoing government. In the UK, the new coalition cabinet led by Prime Minister David Cameron was approved by the Queen on 13 May and includes 16% women compared to 17% previously.
- Government reshuffles in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic both resulted in a better representation of women in the cabinet – Bulgaria 17% from 12%, Czech Republic 24% from 17%.
- Regional elections were held in France early March 2010 with little change in the gender balance of those elected. Currently, six French regions have more than 50% women amongst the members of their regional assemblies (Corse, Haute-Normandie, Ile-de-France, Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées and La Réunion) and a further seven regions are very close to parity (with 49% women members). As was the case before the latest elections, women preside over just two regional assemblies (Poitou-Charentes and Franche-Comté).
- Regional elections were also organised in thirteen Italian regions in March. Although women lost the presidency of regional assemblies in Campania and in Emilia-Romagna, the share of female members of regional assemblies increased in almost half of the regions (Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Piemonte, Puglia, Umbria). The most significant increase occurred in Campania where the share of women representatives increased from 3% to 25%. Changes in the composition of the regional executive were even more positive - the share of women increased in nine regions and in three Italian regions there is now gender parity in the regional executive (Basilicata, Puglia, and Toscana). The improvement was particularly notable in Basilicata, where the previous executive had no women members, and in Toscana where the share of women rose from 7% to 50%. However, in Lazio, the proportion of women in the regional executive decreased from 29% to 15% despite the fact that it is now led by a woman.