There are different countries all over the world, with their distinct histories, stories, cultures and traditions which has contributed to their forward/progressive development or otherwise.
One of such progressive developments that a lot of countries are trying to achieve is gender equality.
Over time, we have seen doors being shut against women, women being put down, passed over or disregarded for no reason other than the fact that they are women. In trying to tackle this issue of gender inequality, almost every country in the world has taken steps and is actively trying to make progress in this area.
The representation or absence of women in government is just one of the many sides to gender (in)equality and while some countries have made tangible efforts and have seen tangible increase in the representation of women in government, some have not seen those results, some are still far back.
This article is about the visualization of a dataset showing the representation of women in the parliaments of almost all countries in the world.
The dataset was gotten from the World Bank, it spans across 23 years (1997 - 2019) and was visualized using the Power BI software.
The first visualization above shows the top countries or countries with the highest percentage of women in their parliaments, while the second one below shows countries with the lowest representation of women.
Each color in the chart is distinct and stands for one of the 23 years.
Rwanda is the country with the highest representation of women over the years, while Micronesia is the least as the country has had no women in her parliament since the year 1997, till date.
Rwanda ranks in the top 5 countries for gender equality, and this started since the year 1994, when the country experienced genocide during a Civil War. The genocide was committed against an ethnic group in the country and after that, the country adopted the idea of fairness across board.
As at 2018, the country had 64% of the seats in her parliament occupied by women.
According to the Borgen project, the constitution of Rwanda protects the women and their rights. The constitution also mandates that at least 30% of representatives be women.
As a result, women keep participating in politics, and its no surprise that the country tops the list.
This above shows the trend over the years, it shows how progress in terms of women representation, is being made.
All over the world, the fight for equality has been on for quite a while, so it is no surprise that a steady growth/progress is being recorded and that 2019 is the peak.
Without an atom of doubt, one can expect that as more years go by, the growth will also increase.
Being a Nigerian and a woman living in Nigeria, I am naturally interested in how Nigeria is doing with women representation in parliament.
Here we see just how Nigeria is fairing and how much women are represented in the Nigerian parliament.
Nigeria did not begin to have women in her parliament until the year 2000, had the highest representation of women between the years 2006-2008 and has since then been on a downward movement.
According to the International Parliamentary Union, Nigeria ranks 180th out of 193 countries in terms of women representation in parliament, making the country one of the lowest in Africa and in the world at large.
According to the World Bank, there are 6 geographical regions in the world.
- Latin America and Caribbean
- Middle East and North Africa
- Europe and Central Asia
- East Asia and Pacific
- South Asia
- Sub- Saharan Africa
From the visualization, it is obvious that Latin America and Caribbean is the region with the highest percentage of women in parliaments, while Middle East and North Africa is the region with the lowest representation of women in parliaments.
Sub- Saharan Africa ranks third amongst the 6 regions, and while this may be surprising, the fact that Rwanda, a Sub-Saharan African country has the highest representation of women in parliament, may be a major contributing factor for this.
According to Readactively, Islam is the dominant religion in North Africa, such that it is practiced by over 90% of the population in some places and according to Wikipedia, Islam is the dominant religion in the Middle East, with about 20% of the world’s muslims living there.
This could be and is most likely a major reason why the Middle East and North Africa rank lowest among the regions.
In the Middle East and North African region, there are stereotypes relating to women and their role in the society and this is another reason why this region ranks the lowest amongst other regions of the world.
Each region has some parts that are not doing so well, that have low income, however, it is important to note that South Asia does not even have any part that does not bring in high income, just like Sub-Saharan African does not have any high income part.
Even among the low income countries, Middle East and North African countries still take the back seat, as expected.
Grouped in the dataset, we have low income countries, middle income countries and high income countries.
As seen in the visualization above, high income countries have the highest representation of women in their parliaments, while low income countries have the lowest representation of women in their parliaments, which is really really low.
Middle income countries are just doing a bit better than low income countries in terms of women representation, and it is clear that there is a huge divide.
According to the World Bank, the top 10 countries in terms of women representation in parliament, are a mix of both middle income and high income countries, and this is not surprising.
Above, we have the visualization for top 5 countries and the visualization for the last 10 countries.
The gap is very large as the highest amongst the least 10 - Tuvalu with its 67.92% representation, doesn’t even come close to the least amongst the top 5 - Norway, with a whooping 880.88% representation.
There is a stark difference of over 812% between both countries. This just shows how far behind some countries are on the issue of gender equality, women representation in government and how ahead some countries are.
The least of all the countries is Micronesia.