A woman walks up decorated stairs in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 7, 2023 on the occasion of the International Women's Day. (PHOTO / AP)
GENEVA – More women than ever hold political decision-making posts worldwide but gender parity is still far off, according to a report jointly released Tuesday by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the UN Women.
Only 13 countries, mostly in Europe, have gender-equal cabinets, with 50 percent or more women cabinet members serving as ministers, according to a report jointly released Tuesday by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UN Women
The report, presenting the latest rankings and regional distribution of women in executive positions and national parliaments as of Jan 1 of this year, showed the number of women in political leadership roles has increased overall.
ALSO READ: International Women's Day: date, history and 2023 theme
However, women are still deeply under-represented in government leadership roles, and remain a minority as heads of state and government, according to the report.
At the very start of this year, 11.3 percent of countries have women heads of state (monarchy-based systems excluded), and 9.8 percent have women heads of government. These represent an increase from a decade ago, when figures stood at 5.3 percent and 7.3 percent respectively.
According to the report, only 13 countries, mostly in Europe, have gender-equal cabinets, with 50 percent or more women cabinet members serving as ministers. Nine countries have no woman cabinet member heading any ministry.
ALSO READ: ILO: Women's employment drops by 25% in Afghanistan
The report also showed that men continue to dominate policy areas such as economy, defense, justice and home affairs portfolios. Women only comprise 12 percent of cabinet ministers leading defense and local government portfolios, 11 percent in energy, natural resource fuels and mining portfolios, and 8 percent in transport portfolios.
"We're witnessing ongoing progress in the number of women in politics this year, which is encouraging. However, we still have a long way to go to reach gender equality when we see the current rates of growth," said IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong.