Despite an increase in the number of women at the highest levels of politics, widespread gender inequalities persist, the 2021 edition of the IPU-UN Women’s Map of ‘Women in Politics’ indicated.
The IPU-UN Women’s map, which presents global rankings for women in executive and government positions as of 1 January 2021, was prepared and made available by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. It indicates all-time highs for women heads of state and heads of government, women speakers of parliament and women MP’s and ministers. Europe, it indicates, experienced the two biggest rises in women’s political representation at the executive level in 2021.
Women occupy the role of Heads of State or Government in 22 countries
Women occupy the role of Heads of State or Government in 22 countries, up from 20 countries this time last year, according to the new data. The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway are all listed as “currently led by women”. Europe is the region with the most countries led by women, with five out of the world’s nine women Heads of State and seven out of the world’s thirteen women Heads of Government.
The situation regarding women holding ministerial positions
The number of countries in which women held 50% or more ministerial positions dropped from fourteen this time last year to thirteen in 2021, the IPU-UN Women’s map indicated. Nicaragua, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Albania, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Canada, Andorra, Finland, France, Guinea-Bissau and Spain are listed as the countries with women holding 50% or more ministerial positions.
New Zealand maintains the largest share of women ministers at 40% (up from 30% the previous year). In the Middle East and North Africa region, Lebanon currently has the largest share of women ministers, at 31.6%. Tunisia witnessed the greatest increase, rising to 29.2% – up from 6.9% the previous year.
Despite overall gains across all regions, the number of countries with no women ministers as of 1 January 2021 increased to twelve, compared to nine the previous year.
The situation regarding women in government and parliament
The data also reveals that the number of countries with no women in government has increased. In this respect, the situation of 1 January 2021 bucks the downward trend that has been seen over the past few years. The global share of women in national parliaments is 25.5%: this indicates a slight increase from 24.9% the previous year.
Turkey is ranked at number 129 in the list with its decreased number of women in parliament, compared to a 122 ranking the previous year.
No women serve in the governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Brunei Darussalam, D.P.R. Korea, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Yemen, according to the IPU-UN Women’s Map.