This briefing includes latest figures on the proportion of women in Parliament and elected bodies across the UK and throughout the world.Jump to full report >>
There are 209 women Members of the House of Commons. At 32%, this is an all-time high. The proportion of women grew slowly until the 1990s, as shown in the table below.
Since 1918, 491 women have been elected to the House of Commons; 58% were first elected as Labour MPs and 29% as Conservatives.
There are 206 female Peers – 26% of the Members of the House of Lords.
Five of the current members of the Cabinet (22%) are women, including the Prime Minister. The highest proportion of women in Cabinet was 36% between 2006 and 2007.
47% of Members of the National Assembly for Wales are women, as are 35% of Members of the Scottish Parliament and 32% of Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
About 34% 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.
40% of UK Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in 2018 were women. 36% of all MEPs were women and the UK ranked 8th among the 28 EU member nations.
22 countries currently have a woman as president or prime minister, a record high. At 32%, the UK is in 39th position in the proportion of women in the lower (or only) house of parliament. Rwanda has over 61%, and along with Cuba and Bolivia has a majority of women in parliament.
Commons Briefing papers SN01250
Author: Steven Browning