A one point five percentage point (1.5) increase in 2013 of the global average of women members of parliament (MPs) marks a significant and encouraging trend that could lead to gender parity within 20 years if fully capitalized upon, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). In its annual analysis of statistics and trends on women in parliament released ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March, IPU found that women MPs accounted for 21.8 per cent of all parliamentarians by the end of 2013. Up from 20.3 per cent the previous year, the 2013 rate of increase was triple that of 2011, which saw the average percentage of women MPs rise by just 0.5 per cent. [read more]
IPU will be supporting Egypt in its efforts to develop a new, fully functioning and representative parliament through a wide-ranging assistance programme following a high-level meeting at its headquarters between Egyptian officials and IPU Secretary General Anders B. Johnsson on 26 and 27 February. The Egyptian delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation as well as the Secretariat of the House of Representatives. Egypt has been without a parliament since its dissolution in July 2013. IPU has repeatedly expressed its full support to the Egyptian people. Their desire for a strong democratic and representative legislative body and the adoption of a new, more inclusive constitution that promotes democratic values will provide the framework of IPU support. [read more]
Fifteen years after the assassination of Ecuadorian MPs Jaime Ricaurte Hurtado González and Pablo Vicente Tapia Farinango, authorities have failed to identify the instigators of their deaths. Hurtado and Tapia, members of the leftist Movimiento Popular Democrático (MPD), were killed in broad daylight in the centre of Quito on 17 February 1999, along with a legislative assistant, Wellington Borja Nazareno. Two culprits were convicted in March 2009 for their role in the murders and in 2010 suspect Henry Gil Ayerve was arrested in Colombia and extradited to Ecuador in order to stand trial in this case. In a recent development, a second suspect, Washington Aguirre, was taken into custody in Italy pending extradition. [read more]
A strong and efficient parliament is critical to democracy. IPU works to make parliaments more effective in fulfilling their government oversight and legislative roles, in guaranteeing people’s rights and liberties and in securing peace and development.
Democracy means all voices are heard. IPU is committed to ensuring that women - half of the world’s population - are able to participate equally in politics. Its unique research and data on women’s political participation is a widely used barometer on progress.
IPU’s primary goals are peace and democracy. It gives special priority to preventing and eliminating conflict through political dialogue. It responds to crises which affect world or regional security and monitors certain conflict situations.
Parliament has a special responsibility to ensure human rights are respected. IPU provides protection and redress to MPs at risk of abuse and helps parliaments to make human rights a reality for everyone.
Parliaments play a critical role in social and economic development. IPU supports parliaments on key international development goals, on making development aid more effective and on strengthening parliamentary action on climate change.
IPU works closely with the United Nations and other multi-lateral bodies to ensure there is a parliamentary dimension to international cooperation, global governance as well as in the resolution of major international issues.
IPU brings together parliamentarians from around the world to actively find solutions to global and regional problems.
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