The representation of women in national parliaments is an important aspect in measuring women's position in political decision-making. The UNECE region as a whole has seen a steady increase in the share of females in national parliaments, rising from an average of 17% in 2000 to 24% in 2013.
In 2013, the average female share of parliamentarians was 26% in countries of the European Union and 18% in countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The highest women's representation was in Sweden (45%) and the lowest in Hungary (9%). Since 2000, the greatest increases in UNECE countries were in Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Belarus, which have increased women's representation by more than 22 percentage points each.
Despite the positive trends in recent years, UNECE countries are still far from achieving equal representation of women and men in national parliaments. In 2013, women accounted for less than one quarter of all parliamentarians in the region. In the last 13 years, none of the UNECE countries has reached the 50 per cent mark for female parliamentarians. The Nordic countries Sweden, Finland and Iceland are closest to that benchmark.
The proportion of women in national parliaments is low taking into account that women in our region represent nearly half of the labour force and account for more than half of the tertiary level graduates in most UNECE countries
Source: UNECE Statistical Database