Make it happen is this year’s theme of International Women’s Day. The day is Internationally the day is celebrated every year on March 8th since 1911 and in 1917 demonstrations in the context of the Women’s Day lead to the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. What had started as a socialist event to recognize women’s economic, political, and social struggles and achievements has now lost this ideological connotation. Today it is rather regarded as an opportunity to raise awareness for the inequality women still experience in all societies.
In some countries the day is still an official holiday, such as in Russia and other former socialist republics, but also in Afghanistan, Angola and Eritrea. In China, Madagascar, Macedonia and Nepal it is a holiday solely for women.
Gender inequality remains a pressing challenge globally and is seen as a major barrier to human development which is why the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) has a specific indicator to take these problems into account. The Gender Inequality Index (GII) measures gender (in)equity in health, education, work and politics.
The following map shows one indicator from the current GII that highlights the political representation of women in parliaments worldwide measured by the share of seats in parliament (with data for 2013). The map uses an equal-population projection which gives every person on the planet an equal amount of space:
Looking at politics UN Women recently stated that in 2015 “only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians were female, […] 10 women served as Head of State and 14 served as Head of Government.” Currentlt the highest number of women parliamentarians can be found in Rwanda with women holding 63.8% of seats in the lower house. The figures also state that “globally, there are 38 States in which women account for less than 10 per cent of parliamentarians in single or lower houses […] including 5 chambers with no women at all.”