• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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10 countries with the least females in national parliaments


Gender equality remains a pressing issue, especially in political representation. In spite of efforts made towards inclusivity and gender parity, many countries still lag in ensuring adequate female representation in their national parliaments.

While progress has been made, significant gaps persist, particularly in certain regions.

Globally, 11.3% of countries have women serving as Heads of State, and 9.8% as Heads of Government, with Europe leading with 16 countries led by women.

Women constitute 22.8% of Cabinet Ministers worldwide, with the highest representation in Europe and North America (31.6%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (30.1%), but as low as 10.1% in Central and Southern Asia, and 8.1% in the Pacific Islands (excluding Australia and New Zealand).

Only 13 countries, primarily in Europe, have achieved gender equality in their cabinets, with 50% or more women holding ministerial positions.

European Nordic countries lead in women’s representation with 45.7% of women MPs, while the Middle East and North Africa region lags at 17.7%.

Only six countries have achieved 50% or more women in parliament, Rwanda (61.3%), Cuba (55.7%), Nicaragua (53.9%), Mexico (50.4%), Andorra (50%), and the United Arab Emirates (50%), BusinessDay reported.

In this context, “seats in national parliament” refer to the composition of the lower chamber or the single chamber legislative system within each respective country.

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), here are the top 10 countries with less female representation in national parliaments as of February 2024


In the Maldives, women face significant challenges in political representation. Out of 80 parliamentary seats, only 4 are held by women, representing just 5.0% of the total.


Qatar women face significant hurdles in political representation, with only 4.4% of parliamentary seats occupied by 2 women out of a total of 45.


Bhutan constitutes a representation of 4.3%, out of 47 parliamentary seats 2 are held by women.


Nigeria, with 358 parliamentary seats, has only 14 occupied by women, resulting in a representation of 3.9%.


Kuwait has 65 parliamentary seats, with only 2 held by women, representing a mere 3.1%.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, with 111 parliamentary seats, sees only 3 occupied by women, accounting for 2.7% representation.


Out of 51 parliamentary seats in Vanuatu, only 1 is held by a woman, reflecting a representation of 2.0%.


Oman’s 90 parliamentary seats currently have no female representation, resulting in a 0.0% representation of women in the national parliament.


In Tuvalu, out of 16 parliamentary seats, none are occupied by women, resulting in a 0.0% representation.


Yemen, with 245 parliamentary seats, currently has no female representation, resulting in a 0.0% representation of women in the national parliament.