There are 22 countries with elected female heads of state, but 119 nations have never had a woman leader
By Emma Batha
LONDON, Feb 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Boosting the number of female leaders and government ministers will help build a stronger post-pandemic world, the head of U.N. Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said on Monday as data showed women may wait 130 years to see equality at the top.
Here are some key facts about women in leadership positions:
- There are 22 countries with elected female heads of state or government. Recent additions to the list include Peru, Lithuania and Moldova.*
- On Jan. 25, Estonia became the only country with a female president and female prime minister.
- A total of 119 countries have never had a woman leader.
- At the current rate of progress, gender parity at the highest positions of power will not be reached for 130 years.
- Parity will not be achieved in national legislative bodies before 2063 and in ministerial positions before 2077.
- Worldwide, the number of women parliamentarians has more than doubled since 1995 to 25%.
- In early 2020, just 14 countries had cabinets with 50% or more positions held by women.
- Women hold more than 30% of parliamentary seats in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America. But in the Pacific island states they hold just 6% of seats.
- Barriers to women's participation in public life include political parties' reluctance to support them, lack of funding, public perceptions that men make better leaders, and violence and intimidation, including cyber-abuse.
- More than 80% of women parliamentarians surveyed globally have experienced psychological violence.
- One in four have suffered physical violence and one in five sexual violence.
* This figure does not include Taiwan or countries with female monarchs.
Sources: U.N. Women, Inter-Parliamentary Union (Reporting by Emma Batha @emmabatha; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
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