Proportion of women in parliament continues to rise

Since 1995, the number of women in Belgium's parliaments has risen steadily, thanks in particular to laws promoting parity on electoral lists. However, women are still under-represented in executive bodies, Le Soir reports on Monday, based on a study by the Centre de recherche et d’information socio-politiques (Crisp).

The study notes that while it isn’t possible to distinguish between developments resulting from legislation and those that are broadly attributable to a change in mentality in society, “the fact remains that each legislative advance has unquestionably resulted in an overall increase in the proportion of women among elected representatives and in political circles”.

In the federal Parliament, female representation has risen from 12 per cent in 1995 to 43.3 per cent in 2019. The same trend can be seen in Wallonia, where the proportion has risen from 8 per cent in 1995 to 41.3 per cent in 2019; in Flanders it has risen from 17.8 to 46.8 per cent. 

While the number of women in the Brussels Parliament has risen steadily, from 26.7 to 43.8 per cent, it has stagnated in recent years, peaking in 2004 at 46.1 per cent. 

Crisp is an independent organisation that studies political decision-making in Belgium and in the European context.



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