Share of women in parliament

What you should know about this indicator

Women in parliaments are the percentage of parliamentary seats in a single or lower chamber held by women.

Limitations and exceptions: The number of countries covered varies with suspensions or dissolutions of parliaments. There can be difficulties in obtaining information on by-election results and replacements due to death or resignation. These changes are ad hoc events which are more difficult to keep track of. By-elections, for instance, are often not announced internationally as general elections are. Parliaments vary considerably in their internal workings and procedures, however, generally legislate, oversee government and represent the electorate. In terms of measuring women's contribution to political decision making, this indicator may not be sufficient because some women may face obstacles in fully and efficiently carrying out their parliamentary mandate.

The data is compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the basis of information provided by National Parliaments. The percentages do not take into account the case of parliaments for which no data was available at that date. Information is available in all countries where a national legislature exists and therefore does not include parliaments that have been dissolved or suspended for an indefinite period.

Statistical concept and methodology: The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments is the number of seats held by women members in single or lower chambers of national parliaments, expressed as a percentage of all occupied seats; it is derived by dividing the total number of seats occupied by women by the total number of seats in parliament.

National parliaments can be bicameral or unicameral. This indicator covers the single chamber in unicameral parliaments and the lower chamber in bicameral parliaments. It does not cover the upper chamber of bicameral parliaments. Seats are usually won by members in general parliamentary elections. Seats may also be filled by nomination, appointment, indirect election, rotation of members and by-election. Seats refer to the number of parliamentary mandates, or the number of members of parliament.

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

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“Data Page: Share of women in parliament”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from Inter-Parliamentary Union (via World Bank). Retrieved from [online resource]
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Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

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Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Share of women in parliament” [dataset]. Inter-Parliamentary Union (via World Bank), “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved July 20, 2024 from