Today marks International Women’s Day, an important occasion to highlight key strides made by women around the world. Despite the share of women in the 117th Congress reaching its highest level in history, the U.S. still trails many countries in terms of women in parliament. According to Inter Parliamentary Union data, the share of women in the House of Represenatives stands at 27.3 percent (it is the same collective figure for both chambers), placing the U.S. 67th on the global list of the countries with the highest share of women in parliament.
Rwanda comes first by quite a distance with its lower house 61.3 percent female as of January 2021. That is largely down to its horrific 1994 genocide which left the country with a population that was 60-70 percent female with most women uneducated and unaccustomed to holding jobs outside the home. Rwanda was forced to implement sweeping changes and open society to women, part of which involved a quota mandating that women hold 30 percent of political seats. Cuba has the second highest share of women in its legislature at 53.4 percent while exactly half of the UAE’s Federal National Council is female.