27 Countries Better Than America At Electing Women To Congress Or Parliament

What do Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq beat America at? Having women in congress or parliament, according to the World Bank. In fact, with only 18% of Congress made up of women, America is 91st in the world. Here are 27 countries ahead of the U.S.

1. Rwanda

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/Mark Garten

56% of Rwanda’s legislative body is female – making them #1 in the world.

2. Iraq

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/Pernaca Sudhakaran

Iraq: 25% of parliament is female, making them #47.

3. Cuba

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Antônio Milena/ABr - Wikimedia Commons

Cuba: 45%; #3 overall.

4. Denmark

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Denmark (whose Queen Margrethe II is shown here with Ban Ki-moon) is #13 in the world, with 39% representation.

5. Uganda

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/G Pirozzi

Uganda: 35% representation; #22 overall.

6. Nepal

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Jean-Marie Hullot - Wikimedia Commons

In Nepal, 33% of the nation’s legislative body is female (earning them the #25 ranking worldwide).

7. France

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Marie-Lan Nguyen - Wikimedia Commons

France is 40th overall, with female leaders comprising 27% of the parliament. Here, Ségolène Royal, the runner-up in the 2007 French presidential election.

8. Afghanistan

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Afghanistan’s national assembly is 28% female, earning them the 39th spot worldwide.

9. Argentina

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Wikimedia Commons

Here, Eva Perón (aka “Evita”) with visiting children. Argentina’s legislative assembly is 37% female, making it #18 overall

10. Israel

commons.wikimedia.org / Via World Economic Forum - Wikimedia Commons

Israel’s Knesset is 20% female (81st overall). Here, Tzipi Livni, Minister of Justice in Israel.

11. Ethiopia

Via UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

38th overall, with 28% representation.

12. Nicaragua

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Osopolar - Wikimedia Commons

With 40% of legislative offices held by women, Nicaragua is ninth overall.

13. Australia

Via YouTube

Prime Minister Julia Gillard (shown here in a viral video decrying sexism) is among the 25% of Australia’s parliament that is made up of women (they’re 50th overall).

14. Vietnam

upload.wikimedia.org / Via Milei.vencel, Hungary - Wikimedia Commons

Fifty-third overall, with 24%.

15. United Kingdom

Via Wilson Center Facebook Page

In the UK, parliament is 23% female – 65th overall.

16. Burundi

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/Martine Perret

Their legislature is 31% female. Burundi is 33rd overall.

17. China

commons.wikimedia.org / Via US Dept of State - Wikimedia Commons

Here, Liu Yandong, China’s 2nd Vice Premier. As 75th overall, 21% of China’s legislative body is female.

18. Tajikistan

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Steve Evans - Wikimedia Commons

Tajikistan is 86th overall, with 19% of its legislative body composed of female leaders.

19. Germany

flic.kr / Via White House flickr

Here, German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with her G8 counterparts in May 2012. One-third of Germany’s legislative body is female (26th overall).

20. Canada

unmultimedia.org / Via Wikimedia Commons

Our neighbors to the North at 49th overall, with women leaders making up 25% of parliament. Here, Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, with Ban Ki-moon.

21. Sweden

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Bengt Nyman - Wikimedia Commons

Sweden ranks #4 overall, with 45% of legislators. Here, Sweden’s Princess Madeleine.

22. Lesotho

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The African nation of Lesotho comes in at number 41, with women making up 27% of its legislature. Here, Health Minister Mphu Ramatlapeng addresses the United Nations.

23. New Zealand

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Wikimedia Commons

Ranked 30th overall, New Zealand’s legislature is 32% female. Here, then-Prime Minister Helen Clark visits the Pentagon in 2002.

24. Trinidad and Tobago

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Wikimedia Commons

At 36th overall, Trinidad and Tobago’s legislature is 29% female. Here, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

25. South Sudan

unmultimedia.org / Via UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Though independent only since 2011, South Sudan ranks 44th overall, as 27% of legislators are women.

26. Pakistan

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Department of Defense

Here, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, arrives in the United States in 1988. Pakistan’s legislative assembly is 23% female (64th place), which is nearly 30 places higher than the United States.

27. Bangladesh

commons.wikimedia.org / Via Agência Brasil - Wikimedia Commons

With 20% of its legislators being women, Bangladesh ranks 83rd overall. Here, Bangladeshi human rights activist Irene Khan.

… and at number 91, the United States of America

chuckdevries.com / Via Chuck Devries

Full list of countries ahead of the U.S. is here.

For more info, check the wonderful work done by the Women In Public Service Project.

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