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1 in 3 parliament and government members are women

08/03/2020

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Women held 32% of seats in national parliaments in the EU in 2019. This share has increased since 2003, when women accounted for about one-fifth (21%) of members in national parliaments.

 

Highest share of female parliamentarians in Sweden

While the share of seats held by women in national parliaments varies considerably between EU countries, no EU country had more women than men holding seats in parliament.

In 2019, the highest shares of female members in national parliaments were recorded in Sweden (48%) and Finland (47%), ahead of Belgium and Spain (both 42%).

At the opposite end of the scale, women account for less than one-fifth of the national parliament members in Hungary (12%), Malta (15%), Cyprus (18%), Croatia and Romania (both slightly under 20%).

 

Seats held by women in national parliaments, 2019

Source dataset: sdg_05_50

 

Over half of government members are female in Finland and Sweden

The share of female members of government (senior and junior ministers) in the EU increased from 23% in 2003 to 31% in 2019.

In 2019, Finland had the highest share of female members in its government (58%). Finland was followed by Sweden (52%), Spain and Austria (both 50%) as well as France (49%).

 

Seats held by women in national governments, 2019

Source dataset: sdg_05_50

 

At the bottom end of the scale, women accounted for less than one fifth of members of the government in Malta (9%), Greece (10%), Estonia (13%), Hungary (14%), Poland (15%), Cyprus (17%), Romania (18%) and Croatia (19%).

 

The number of female presidents and prime ministers in EU countries also rose over the period 2003 – 2019. In 2019, there were four female heads of government (15%) while there were none in 2003. However, during this 15 year period, the share of female heads of government in the EU never exceeded this share, meaning there were never more than four women in this position at the same time.

  

Note:

  • 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.
  • The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.

 

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