Infographic: Women in Parliament

Prior to the South African democracy, female representation in Parliament sat at just 2.7% and rose to about 28% by the time the Constitution was adopted. By 2009, parliamentary seats occupied by women rose to an all-time high of 43% and currently stands at 41%.

Globally, data by the World Bank in 2016 placed South Africa (42%) in joint 7th place with Mexico, Ecuador and Finland based on the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments; with Rwanda taking first place with 64%. It is worth noting though that unlike Rwanda the South African Constitution does not detail a formal quota for either of the parliamentary houses.

Leadership positions in politics were previously dominated by men, and women’s entry into the sphere has been lauded as a success story. Female representation at executive level (Ministers and Deputy Ministers), and as committee chairpersons are almost level.

See infographic for more:



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