More women lawmakers needed in UK as numbers 'shockingly low'

January 10, 2017 02:16

LONDON - The number of women parliamentarians in Britain is "shockingly low" and the government should set targets to achieve equal representation by 2030, British lawmakers said in a report on Tuesday.

Since the first woman MP was elected nearly 100 years ago, 455 females have become lawmakers - which is exactly how many men are in parliament today, the all-party Women and Equalities Committee said.

With only 30 percent of female members of parliament (MPs), Britain was ranked 48th for representation by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), together with Nepal.

"A global ranking of 48th is shockingly low. We must rise to the challenge of being a world leader on women's parliamentary representation," Committee Chair and Conservative MP Maria Miller said in a statement.

Rwanda had the highest ranking, with women representing 64 percent of its parliament, followed by Bolivia (53 percent), Cuba (49 percent) and Iceland (48 percent).

Females account for 23 percent of some 46,000 parliamentarians worldwide, the IPU, an international organisation of parliaments that works for the establishment of representative democracy worldwide, said.

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