The Women in Politics Map 2014 launched by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women today shows that while progress on women´s political participation continues to be largely positive across the world, glass ceilings remain firmly in place for women at the highest levels. The Map, which presents the latest data on women in executive government and in parliament, reveals similar regional trends in women´s representation in both spheres with the Americas, Europe and Africa outperforming the Arab, Asia and Pacific regions. [read more]
A one point five percentage point (1.5) increase in 2013 of the global average of women members of parliament (MPs) marks a significant and encouraging trend that could lead to gender parity within 20 years if fully capitalized upon, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). In its annual analysis of statistics and trends on women in parliament released ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March, IPU found that women MPs accounted for 21.8 per cent of all parliamentarians by the end of 2013. Up from 20.3 per cent the previous year, the 2013 rate of increase was triple that of 2011, which saw the average percentage of women MPs rise by just 0.5 per cent. [read more]
IPU is deeply concerned by the rushed process of the appeal hearing involving Malaysian opposition MP and leader Anwar Ibrahim that ended with a five-year jail sentence on sodomy charges. The sentence will now prevent him from standing in a key by-election on 23 March in Selangor, which could have led him to becoming Chief Minister of Malaysia’s richest state. The defence had requested for a delay to the hearing until the end of next week to allow lawyer Karpal Singh to work on other cases involving the death penalty, but this request had been denied. After the sentencing on 7 March, the defence was also only given one hour to prepare its case for a lower sentence. Anwar will remain free on bail while he appeals against the guilty verdict. [read more]
A strong and efficient parliament is critical to democracy. IPU works to make parliaments more effective in fulfilling their government oversight and legislative roles, in guaranteeing people’s rights and liberties and in securing peace and development.
Democracy means all voices are heard. IPU is committed to ensuring that women - half of the world’s population - are able to participate equally in politics. Its unique research and data on women’s political participation is a widely used barometer on progress.
IPU’s primary goals are peace and democracy. It gives special priority to preventing and eliminating conflict through political dialogue. It responds to crises which affect world or regional security and monitors certain conflict situations.
Parliament has a special responsibility to ensure human rights are respected. IPU provides protection and redress to MPs at risk of abuse and helps parliaments to make human rights a reality for everyone.
Parliaments play a critical role in social and economic development. IPU supports parliaments on key international development goals, on making development aid more effective and on strengthening parliamentary action on climate change.
IPU works closely with the United Nations and other multi-lateral bodies to ensure there is a parliamentary dimension to international cooperation, global governance as well as in the resolution of major international issues.
IPU brings together parliamentarians from around the world to actively find solutions to global and regional problems.
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New York, 11 March
GENEVA, 16-20 March