Women Voice Platform Highlights Female Participation in Politics

May 31, 2017
By Women VoiceEditor: Rong Chen
Women Voice Platform Highlights Female Participation in Politics


Around the world, women's participation in government and political affairs continues to be the subject of much discussion.

The most recent prominent political female figure in China is Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the forthcoming chief executive of Hong Kong.

Following her election win, Lam will start her five-year tenure starting from July 1.

Women Voice, the media outlet of the All-China Women's Federation, recently compiled a brief guide accompanied by relevant statistics further exploring such women's political involvement.

Global Women's Political Share

Women's participation rate in politics is one of the most important factors in evaluating a country's local gender equality conditions, according to experts.

The 4th UN World Conference on Women in 1995 approved an Action Agenda addressing women's participation in political decision-making as one of its 12 key issues.

This agenda urges countries across the globe to raise such women's involvement to at least 30 percent.

After many years' strenuous work, women worldwide have achieved remarkable progress in engaging in politics.

The global average ratio into politics among female members of parliament or congress has increased from 11.3 percent in 1997 to 23.3 percent in 2017.

However, this figure is far lagging behind the UN requirements of 30 percent.

Even though the Americas have the highest percentage at 28.1, the numbers imply that women still have a long way to go in achieving further political success.

Global Female Leaders in 2016

Some 17 women became head of a state or government in 2016, while the number in 2015 was 19.

In specific, these female leading officials included 11 state chiefs, accounting for 7.2 percent among a total of 152 chiefs overall; and, another 11 government leaders, taking up 5.7 percent among 193 in total.

Chinese Women's Progress in Political Involvement

The ratio of female members to the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in 2013 was 23.4 percent, marking an increase of 2.4 percent compared to two decades ago.

Also, the first session of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in 2013 included 17.8 percent of female attendees. That indicates a rise of 4.1 percent compared with 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, female members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) experienced a growth to 25.1 percent in 2015, a surge of 9.5 percent compared to the number 20 years ago.

At the grassroots level, around 23 percent of village committee members were women in 2015, which implies an increase of 7.2 percent over 2000.

In grassroots residents' committees in 2015, a majority of women members raised the ratio to 49.2 percent while female directors accounted for 41.1 percent.

In international rankings, the percentage of China's female NPC deputies decreased from the status of 15th in 1998 to 74th in 2016.

To move forward in women's political advancement, Women Voice also highlighted three major targets. These include specifying a quantitative ratio for female participation in politics; introducing relevant gender policies in this aspect; and, developing an optimized social situation that encourages women to participate in and discuss state affairs.

(Source: Women Voice/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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