In many countries around the world, women are entering political office at higher rates than in the United States. As of January 1, 2020, the U.S. ranked 82nd in the world for the number of women (101 of 435, or 23%) in the lower legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives. Twenty years ago, there were 58 women in the U.S. House, and the country ranked 48th for women's representation.
For our 2020 Report "Achieving Gender Parity: Systems Strategies Around the World," we continue our analysis of the impact electoral rules and systems have on women's representation and introduce our new research on women Heads of State and Government, women in executive cabinets around the world, the use of ranked choice voting internationally, and the role women's representation has on democratic rankings.
*Please note that the data linked below this report has been frozen for the state of play in June 2020, and these are the rankings reflected in our 2020 Report analysis. If you would like to receive a copy of the data used in our 2019 or 2018 reports, please reach out to the RepresentWomen team.
Scroll over the map below to see how well women are represented in their national legislatures and as executive officeholders. For each country, you will find the percentage of women in the lower (or singular) legislative house, the upper legislative house, the electoral system followed to select these women, and whether a gender quota has been used to advance women's representation at the national level. In 2020, we expanded our research to cover the history of women who have served as heads of state or government and the composition of executive cabinets around the world.
Follow the links below this map to take a closer look at the story of women's representation in different geographic regions around the world.
In the United States, the 2018 midterm elections heralded the largest class of women into our national legislature. With 102 women (now 101) in the U.S. House of Representatives, women reached a new milestone for representation and leadership. But, when this victory is set beside the longer strides women around the world are making towards parity, it is once again clear that the United States still has a long way to go.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union tracks and ranks 193 countries for the representation of women in their national parliaments. After the 116th Congress was sworn in on Thursday, January 3, 2019, the United States' ranking moved up, from 100th (January 2018) to 78th in the world. One year later, the United States ranked 82nd in the world for the number of women in the national legislature. And as new countries hold elections throughout the year, the United States' rank will continue to shift.
Scroll below to see how the U.S. presently ranks in the world.