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Determined action needed for gender parity in parliament despite 20 years of progress

Although the percentage of women MPs in the world has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, ambitious and concerted political action is needed globally to overcome the slow pace of progress to equality, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Since 1995, when the Beijing Platform for Action on women’s empowerment was adopted, the global average of women in parliament has increased from 11.3 per cent to 22.1 per cent. Women MPs have gained ground in nearly 90 per cent of the 174 countries for which data was available in 1995-2015. read more

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Iracema Portella, MP, Brazil
"I am in politics with the objective of improving the lives of people, particularly women."
Averof Neofytou, MP, Cyprus
"We must give a voice to those in need."
Marie Thérèse Volahaingo, MP, Madagascar
"Nothing can replace young men and women. I am in politics to promote gender issues."
Derek Nolan, MP, Ireland
"Politics matters. It offers a way to change things we do not like, to improve peoples’ lives and environment and to articulate different values and visions. I wanted to play my part in that."
Germán Hoyos Giraldo, MP, Colombia
"Be better to serve better."

Preparing ground for future MPs in Egyptian Parliament

Efforts to put in place a fully functioning parliament in Egypt ahead of elections in March have now begun to focus on providing support to newly-elected MPs, most of whom will be parliamentarians for the first time. As part of its programme to support Egypt on its roadmap to democracy, an IPU mission to the Arab country in February assessed requirements for an orientation package for new MPs aimed at helping them make their transition into parliamentary life and responsibilities smoother and to make them more effective representatives and legislators. The mission will result in a new training curriculum for MPs and an induction manual as well as recommendations on how parliamentary staff can best support MPs in doing their job. read more

Endorsements of common principles for parliamentary support rise

The number of parliaments and organizations endorsing the Common Principles for Support to Parliament has been steadily increasing in the run up to the 132nd IPU Assembly in Hanoi where a formal endorsement ceremony will take place on 31st March. So far, 23 national parliaments, the Maghreb Consultative Council and ten partner organizations have endorsed the Common Principles, which were adopted at the 131st IPU Assembly in October 2014. Put together by a group of parliaments and parliamentary development entities, and the result of more than four decades of experience on parliamentary development, the Common Principles offer clear guidelines for those receiving or providing support to parliaments. read more

The global organization of parliaments, IPU works to establish democracy, peace and cooperation among peoples.

Representative Democracy

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.

Women in Politics     

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.

International Peace and Security

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.

Promoting Human Rights

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.

Sustainable Development

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.

Cooperation with the UN

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.

Key Events

IPU brings together parliamentarians from around the world to actively find solutions to global and regional problems.

You can find a list of Future Events here.


New York, 11 March 2015
Parliamentary meeting on the occasion of the 59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Hanoi, 28 March - 1 April 2015
132nd Assembly and related meetings
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New York, 31 August - 2 September 2015
Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament