It will take 120 years before women make up half of world leaders

… and more than 50 years until women are equally represented in parliaments around the world according to a new report by the VSO – Published on Left Food Forward, by Ben Mackay, Sept 10, 2013.

The sheer scale of the under-representation of women across parliaments and governments will be a wake up call to all those who think that the battle for women’s rights has been won.

At a national level the divergence between male and female representation is striking. Out of 193 heads of government around the world only 13 are women whilst just one in five of the world’s parliamentarians is a woman … //

… There are further shocking statistics about the political representation of women around the world that the report highlights:

  • Women hold just 17% of ministerial positions.
  • In the highest levels of the United Nations only 29.5% of staff are women.
  • Just 35 countries have reached the benchmark figure of 30% women in parliament.

The barriers to women entering parliament that the report identifies includes: patriarchal societies and gendered social norms, political institutions and the political system itself, gendered division of labour, lower educational attainment level for girls, violence towards women, and sexual and reproductive rights.

The VSO report is informed by the experiences of volunteers and women’s rights campaigners from around the world. The VSO has worked with women in 90 countries for over 55 years … //

… (full text).

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