An article posted in The Guardian this week, citing four African nations within the top 10 countries with the highest number of female politicians leaves a lot to be desired for our western counterparts.

Jane Dudman reported in her most recent Guardian article that Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles and South Africa are among the top 10 countries with the highest number of women in their parliaments. Rwanda is top on the list, with 64% of its MPs being female. Seychelles is fifth, with 44% of female MPs within its parliament, while Senegal is seventh with 43% of female MPs and South Africa is ninth, with 42% of female MPs.

Furthermore, of the 46 countries where women account for more than a quarter of parliamentarians, 14 are in Africa. Australia do not fare well in this particular set of statistics: within the Pacific region New Zealand was the only country with over 30 percent female MPs in 2015, with 31.4% in it’s lower house. Meanwhile Australia hovers at the 30% mark, which is marked by the United Nations  as the minimum level necessary for women to influence decision making in parliament.

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According to the Inter-Parlimentary Union which produced these statistics, the increase in female participation within African Parliaments is most likely due to electoral quotas; where specific quotas are set for female candidates within elections. Alternately, many western countries like Australia and the UK do not have these quotas in place.

Looking at these statistics, perhaps it’s time for Australia to start learning from other countries particularly our African nations, on how to improve gender parity within our government and overall within our society.

To read the full article on Rwanda’s political breakthrough click here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/01/lessons-rwanda-female-run-institutions-mps

To see the full report on gender parity within global politics click here: http://www.ipu.org/press-e/pressrelease201503051.htm

VM Learning are passionate advocates of improving female leadership within Australia. For over 25 years we have developed and ran the successful program ‘Women As Leaders’ which focuses on developing the leadership capability of women, in order to help ensure women are promoted and retained in decision-making roles.

This program is running on August the 27th, September 3rd and 17th and 1st of October. To find out more visit our course outline or register by  calling 07 3215 8888 and help improve gender parity within Australia.