This briefing includes latest figures on the proportion of women in Parliament and elected bodies across the UK and throughout the world.

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UK Parliament and Government

There are 220 women Members of the House of Commons. At 34%, this is an all-time high. The proportion of women grew slowly until it jumped in the 1990s, as shown in the chart below.

Women MPs elected at General Elections since 1979

Since 1918, 552 women have been elected to the House of Commons; 55% were first elected as Labour MPs and 31% as Conservatives.

There are 218 female Peers – 27% of the Members of the House of Lords.

Six of the current members of the Cabinet (27%) are women. The highest proportion of women in Cabinet was 36% between 2006 and 2007.

Devolved legislatures and local government

47% of Members of the National Assembly for Wales are women, as are 36% of Members of the Scottish Parliament and 34% of Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

About 36% of local authority councillors in England are women. 26% of councillors in Northern Ireland are women, while the proportion rose to 29% in Scotland after the 2017 elections and sits at 28% in Wales.

40% of members of the London Assembly are women.

International comparisons

In June 2019, the latest available data, 23 countries had a woman as president or prime minister, a record high. In the European Parliament, 41% of MEPs are women. At 34%, the UK is in 39th position in the proportion of women in the lower (or only) house of parliament. Rwanda has over 61%. Cuba and Bolivia also have a majority of women in parliament.

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