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Germany falls short on women in parliament, Rwanda on top

March 5, 2024

Over one-third of German lawmakers are women, but the country only ranks 47th when it comes to female representation in parliament. Several countries, inlcuding Rwanda, now have more women than men in the legislature.

Bettina Stark-Watzinger (r) looks at Franziska Brantner during a parliamentary session
Germany's Bundestag boasts 35.5% female lawmakers, including Franziska Brantner from the Green Party and Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger from the FDPImage: dts/picture alliance

Germany's national parliament, the Bundestag, ranks 47 out of 184 in countries in terms of female representation, according to an index by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) released Tuesday.

The German Federal Statistic office, Destatis, said that around 35% of lawmakers in the Bundestag are women. 

Compared to 10 years before, Germany lost over 1% in female representatives. The IPU ranked Germany 21 globally in 2014. 

What does the data say?

The IPU ranking as of 2024 shows that women are largely underrepresented in parliaments worldwide.

However, the proportion of women is increasing, with women making up over a quarter of all MPs.

The figure has grown by 10% since 2004, but is only around 3% up from 2014, when the share was 22.1% of female representatives in legislatures. 

Why aren't more women in politics?

Which countries are the top performers?

The IPU ranking puts Rwanda first in terms of female representation in parliament. Around 61% of the East African state's legislatures is female. 

Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico also have more women than men as lawmakers. Andorra and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have achieved gender parity.

On the other hand, Oman, Yemen and the Pacific island state of Tuvalu have no women in their parliaments.

While researching countries that have a two-tier parliamentary system, the IPU focused on the lower house or the chamber that is directly elected by the people.

as/fb (Reuters, dpa)

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