March 15, 2017 9:40 pm

Women’s progress toward equal representation in politics has slowed to a crawl: UN stats

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, center, Executive Director, UN Women, is joined by Martin Chungong, right, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union, and moderator Paddy Torsney, Permanent Observer to the UN, as she speaks to reporters during a news conference, Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at UN headquarters.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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New research says decades of gains for women representatives in national legislatures and top government posts worldwide have slowed to a crawl.

The UN women’s arm and the Inter-Parliamentary Union released statistics Wednesday indicating that at last year’s growth rate, it would take a half-century for women to reach equal representation with men in parliaments.

Three years ago, national legislatures were on track to hit gender parity in less than two decades, with the average proportion of women parliament members growing 11.5 per cent in a year. Last year’s growth was less than half that rate.

The number of women government ministers increased nominally, from 730 to 732. The number of women presidents or prime ministers dropped from 19 to 17.

READ MORE: Young women fill House of Commons on International Women’s Day

But a record 53 women presided over parliamentary chambers.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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