Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | July 12, 2011

Percentage of Latin American women in legislative bodies increases

The recently released UN report, Progress of the World’s Women, highlights the tremendous advances made by women in Latin America in the area of politics. Latin America now has a 20 percent female participation in the congress and senate, as opposed to 12 percent in 1997. It averages at 19 percent in the rest of the world.

There are four Latin American female heads of state: Cristina Fernández in Argentina, Dilma Rousseff in Brasil, Laura Chinchilla in Costa Rica, and Kamla Persad-Bissessar in Trinidad and Tobago.

Bolivia and Ecuador have passed from a four percent female participation in congress to 32 percent. Costa Rica has passed from a 16 percent female participation in congress to 39 percent, as well as 35 percent in ministerial positions.

However, Colombia is near the bottom with an 11 percent female participation in congress. This low is partly credited to the armed conflict.

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