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Women and men in decision-making: highlights (First quarter 2010)

22/03/2010 Women and men in decision-making: highlights (First quarter 2010)

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 23rd February and 12th March 2010 and cover the results of national and regional elections that have taken place since autumn 2009 and any recent changes in the composition of governments.

Selected developments in terms of the gender balance include:

  • The new college of Commissioners, which was approved by the European Parliament on 9 February 2010, includes nine women – one third of the twenty-seven members.
  • On 10 February 2010, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) elected Ms Mercedes Bresso as its first ever woman president. The current membership of the CoR is made up of 20% women and 80% men.
  • A number of government reshuffles have occurred across Europe since autumn 2009 and several had a positive impact on the gender balance:
    • In Norway, a reorganisation of the government at the end of October 2009 resulted in a parity cabinet with equal numbers of men and women.
    • In the Netherlands a caretaker government is in place following the collapse of the coalition government in mid-February and the interim cabinet includes 25% women ministers – slightly more than before.
    • In Denmark, the government reshuffle at the end of February 2010 resulted in one additional female member of the cabinet so that there are now nine women amongst the nineteen members (47% compared to 42% previously)
    • The governments of Belgium, Cyprus and Austria also each have one more woman in the cabinet than before.
  • On the other hand, other government changes resulted in a decline in the representation of women:
    • In Germany, the sixteen member cabinet appointed at the end of October 2009 includes six women (38%), one fewer than the previous one.
    • In Romania, the cabinet appointed towards the end of December 2009 following a spell of political turmoil includes just one woman so that the male predominance has risen from 82% to 94%.
  • At regional level, elections have taken place in Denmark and Slovakia.
    • In Denmark, the gender balance amongst elected members of regional assemblies improved in three of the five regions, with the region of Hovedstaden effectively achieving parity representation (49% women, 51% men). However, nationwide the share of women members rose by just one percentage point to 35%.
    • In Slovakia there were mixed results across the country and the overall share of women on regional assemblies was unchanged at 15%. The best results were in the regions of Bratislavski and Trenciansky where 24% women were elected, but in both cases the share is down from that in the previous assembly (25% and 33% respectively).