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Wiesbaden, Germany — Women in national parliaments are globally underrepresented, with Germany at 35.3% ranking 47th out of 184 countries, Destatis said Tuesday.

Rwanda leads with 61.3% female representation.

Other countries with high female representation include Cuba, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Parity is achieved in Andorra and the United Arab Emirates, while Oman, Yemen, and Tuvalu have no female representatives.

Rwanda’s high percentage of female representation in Parliament, a world-leading figure, is largely the result of deliberate policies and cultural shifts that have taken place over the past few decades. There are several key factors contributing to this:

Following the 1994 genocide, Rwanda underwent a period of significant rebuilding. With a large portion of the male population deceased, imprisoned, or exiled, women stepped into roles that were previously dominated by men, including positions in government and civil service.

Rwanda’s constitution, adopted in 2003, includes specific provisions for gender equality. It mandates that women must occupy at least 30% of seats in all decision-making bodies. This legal framework has been a powerful tool in promoting women’s political participation.

The Rwandan government, under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, has consistently promoted gender equality as a key component of the nation’s development strategy. This political will has been crucial in implementing and sustaining policies that support women’s representation.

There has been a significant cultural shift in Rwanda regarding gender roles. The importance of women’s participation in all sectors, including politics, is increasingly recognized. Education and awareness campaigns have also played a role in changing attitudes and norms.

The presence of strong women’s political organizations and networks in Rwanda has helped women to gain political skills and opportunities. These organizations advocate for women’s rights and provide a platform for women to engage in politics.

International organizations and donor countries have supported gender equality initiatives in Rwanda. This external support has provided both the resources and the international framework for promoting women’s participation in politics.

By Silvia Orfeo

Silvia Orfeo is a Sr. Politics and Economics Reporter at Nobot.News

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