Back Women in EU parliament and governments


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Women held 30% of seats in national parliaments in the EU in 2018. This share has increased since 2003, when women accounted for about one-fifth (21%) of members in national parliaments.

However, the share of men in national parliaments is still considerably higher across the EU as a whole. No EU country had more women than men holding seats in parliament.

The share of seats held by women in national parliaments varies considerably between EU countries. In 2018, Sweden had the highest share of women in its national parliament with 47%. Sweden was  followed by Finland (42%), Belgium and Spain (both 40%). A significant number of women also held seats in Austria (37%), Denmark and  Portugal (both 36%) and Italy (35%).

At the opposite end of the scale, women account for less than one-fifth of the national parliament members in Hungary (13%), Malta (15%), Cyprus and Greece (18%) and Romania (20%).


Seats held by women in national parliaments, 2018

The source dataset is accessible here.


The share of female members of government (senior and junior ministers) in the EU increased from 23% in 2003 to 30% in 2018.

In 2018, the largest share of female members of government was recorded in Spain and Sweden (52%), followed by France (49%), the Netherlands (42%) and Denmark (41%).

At the bottom end of the scale, women accounted for less than one fifth of members of the government in Hungary (7%), Malta (12%), Cyprus, Italy and Poland (17.0%).

The number of female presidents and prime ministers in EU countries also rose over the period 2003 – 2018. In 2018, there were three female heads of government (11 %) whereas there were none in 2003. However, during this 15 year period, the share of female heads of government in the EU never exceeded 14%, meaning there were never more than four women in this position at the same time.


Seats held by women in national governments, 2018

The source dataset is accessible here.


A national parliament is the national legislative assembly. The indicator refers to both chambers (lower and upper house, where relevant). Included are also the president/speaker/leader of the parliament.

The national government is the executive body with authority to govern a country or a state. Members of government include both senior ministers (who sit in the cabinet or council of ministers, including the prime minister) and junior ministers. Some countries count state-secretaries (or the national equivalent) as junior ministers within the government but in others, they are not considered members of government.

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