Letting the other half govern (finally)

Back in 2013, on my previous blog, I wrote a post called ‘Women in politics, politics in decline’. It contained a lot of facts and figures, mainly because it started out before that as part of an essay for the Open University. As such it was also, I will admit, a little dry, though it tried hard not to be. It was mainly focused on a couple of important points, those been that while women outnumber men in the UK, they were woefully represented in government. And that our liberal western democracy was 49th in the world rankings for the percentage of female representatives in parliament which was at a shocking 17.9%.

As I have moved my blog over to ‘WordPress’, for umteen reasons that come down to me falling out with ‘Blogger’ as a platform. I have transposed the vast majority of my old blog over, and been working through it all and deleting the chaff, when I came across the post on female representation. At which point, naturally enough, I began to wonder if we had made some progress in this regard as a nation since last I looked. Yet with a certain degree of reservation, because ‘things can’t only get better’ no matter what D’ream claimed.

A short burst of Googling later, I discovered a strange thing. Things have improved, quite dramatically in fact. In the last national election, we ended up with a third more female parliamentarians. All the way up to 29% in fact, so almost an actual third of the total. I was impressed, sure it wasn’t just over fifty percent. We had not suddenly evened it all out and represented the greater half of our population properly in the seats of power. But still a dramatic move in the right direction. With a certain boyantness about me, I wondered happily how much higher up the world rankings that left us. Were we indeed now a leading light in the struggle for equality…

 

Labour's female MPs

Scotish women elected to parliament 2015

 

A short burst of Googling later, I discovered a strange thing… We were now 49th in the world… Yes, that’s right, despite a surge in female representation, as far as parliamentary equality in the world we are still 49th (well technically 48th as we are joint 48th with Nepal according to the IPU, but let’s not split hairs and let facts get in the way of the story… ) 49th, still. I was, I must admit, a tad disappointed and despondent at this revelation. While I am no one’s idea of a nationalist, I do like to have a degree of pride in old Blighty. I would have been pleased to see we had progressed in this table of equality. It’d be good to think we were at least trying to show the world a better more equal society… Yet there we are, still 49th…

And then … because I am a little slow on occasion… my brain caught up and I realised what this actually meant. Not for Britain and the British, but for humanity as a whole, and the smile came back to my fact at the subsequent revelation.

We as a nation have a third more female parliamentarians, yet have remained 49th in the world rankings of this statistic, which could only happen if the world as a whole had done much the same thing. Humanity, for once, had actually made some progress as a whole. I decided to check this as well…

A short burst of Googling later, I discovered a strange thing. Almost every nation in the world had gone up by a third (or at least the ones I had figures for from my original essay) Even places you would never expect, Iraq, Iran, and other Arab states. Bolivia, of all nations, was almost exactly equal to 50%. The likes of Cuba, Mexico, Namibia are not far behind, to name a few surprising ones in the top ten.

In a world where America has just sworn in a president who even his own party and supporters admit is a misogynist, the rest of the world has moved on by a country mile in the last few years (the USA is 100th in the list btw…). So what if the UK is 49th, but it’s 49th in a world making huge strides towards actual political parity for the female of the species. And while we may not be there yet, there is hope, there is progress and humanity is getting better at being run by it’s whole self, rather than the 49% of us without a uterus.

Once in a while, it’s good to see ‘Things are actually getting better…’ sing it for us D’ream…

Sing it for us D’ream…

Oh and yes, if your interested, Rwanda is still at the top of the table….

 

The original post has been moved onto this blog, so if you’re interested in reading it follow this link….

 

 

 

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