By Emily Hull
Ireland ranks just 77th in the world when it comes to electing women to parliament. The average percentage for women in parliaments across the world is 20.75% with Ireland only marginally above that at 22.2%.
Data collected by the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), shows the rankings of every country in the world by percentage of women elected to parliament from the most recent election figures.
Only two countries in the world have more than half of all parliamentarians as women.
Rwanda is top of the world ranking with 63.8% of all parliamentarians being women.
No other country came close to this figure. Bolivia came in second with 53.1%, and in third place was Cuba with 48.9%.
Three of the top ten countries however, are in Europe. Iceland holds fourths place with 47.6% and Sweden is fifth with 43.6%. Finland rounds off the top ten with a percentage of 41.5%.
None of the “big economies”, as classified by CNN Money and the Telegraph Business, such as France, the UK, China, Germany, Russia, the USA, Japan or Brazil have more than 37% – and together average out at just 21.49%.
Co-Founder and Chair of Women for Election, Michelle O’Donnell Keating, said that there are several barriers that prevent women from becoming politicians, and they are known as the five Cs – cash, childcare, confidence, culture and candidate selection.
“Through our training, Women for Election seek to help women overcome these barriers and take their place in the decision-making process. We would believe that Irish women are interested in becoming politically involved.”
O’Donnell Keating stated that Women for Election trained over 1,000 women across Ireland to run for political office in 2012. She said: “[This] shows there is a strong appetite among women to get politically involved.”
And they are not stopping there. Getting more women involved with politics is essential if we are going to see a more equal society in the future.
Women for Election’s aim is “to continue our work training women from all political backgrounds to further increase that number over the years to come.”