Namibia in top rankings for number of women in parliament
Namibia ranks 12th in the world in terms of the number of women in parliament according to data presented in the Women in Politics 2017 Map launched last week by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women in New York.
Contradicting Namibia’s sterling performance however, the number of women in executive government positions and in parliaments worldwide has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015.
Africa saw a steady decline in the number of women ministers. Women hold 19.7 % of the region’s ministerial posts in 2017, having first surpassed this percentage in 2012 after seven years of rapid progress.
The Map, which depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2017, shows relatively slow progress to gender equality in these areas at regional and national levels.
The presentation took place at a joint IPU-UN Women press conference in New York, in the context of the ongoing session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
The Congo and Zambia outperformed the rest of the region, adding four and six women ministers and reaching women’s representation rates of 22.9% and 33.3%, respectively.
“These data powerfully tell the story of the persistent missing voice of women,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “We can see that over time, the overall proportions of women in politics are changing for the better, although certainly not fast enough.”
Progress in the number of women Members of Parliament worldwide continues to be slow. IPU data shows that the global average of women in national parliaments increased just slightly from 22.6 % in 2015 to 23.3 % in 2016.
Data on women ministers reveals that 30 % of environment ministers are women (47 out of 161), a 10% increase from 2015. IPU research indicates the ascent of the environmental category is likely due to the appearance of a few, very recent, new portfolios such as Climate Change and Sustainable Development, where women representation is fast rising.