- Women in Latin America hold just over 1 in 5 seats in lower (or single) legislative chambers and nearly 22% of cabinet seats in the region, a big increase from the 9% of governments in the 1990s.
- But at the current rate of growth, it will be 2052 before women hold 40% of all parliamentary seats, said Rebeca Grynspan, the Latin America and Caribbean regional director for the United Nations Development Programme.
- Instead, a meeting in Madrid of 60 female legislators from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries called for national laws that require that women receive at least a certain number of public positions.
- 11 of those 20 countries have quota laws, and in those countries women make up 20.5% of lawmakers; in the other nine countries they hold only 14% of seats.
- Cuba has the largest share of women legislators, at 49%, Argentina has 40% and Costa Rica about 37%. By contrast, only 8.4% of Colombian lawmakers are women, and Panama is close at 8.5% and Brazil at 9%. Fewer than 1 in 8 members of Parliament in Guatemala are women.
- But across the region, only 6% of mayors are women.
- The conference, “Towards a Political Agenda for Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean”, also included 20 female lawmakers from Spain. In Spain, the cabinet is 50% female, and at least 40% of parliamentary candidates must be women.
The IPS-Inter Press Agency report