from Women Around the World and Women and Foreign Policy Program

Women’s Power Index Tracks Women’s Political Representation

A new interactive tool from the Women and Foreign Policy program ranks countries on their progress toward gender parity in political participation and visualizes the gender gap in political representation. 

February 4, 2020

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Alexandra Bro, research associate with the Women and Foreign Policy program, coauthored this blog post.

As the 2020 election season begins, the Women and Foreign Policy program is launching the “Women’s Power Index,” a new interactive tool that ranks countries on their progress toward gender parity in political participation and visualizes the gender gap in political representation. 

More on:

Women and Women's Rights

Elections and Voting

Congresses and Parliaments

The index reveals that the number of female heads of state has surged over the last three decades. Since the end of WWII, sixty-four countries have elected a female head of state, with two-thirds of women ascending to high office during this period elected in the 2000s. Despite these gains, women remain underrepresented at all levels of government. Out of 193 countries:

  • Only nineteen currently have a female head of state or government
  • Only nine have at least 50 percent women in the national cabinet
  • Only four have at least 50 percent women in the national legislature


The United States ranks 106th overall on political gender parity (an aggregate measure of women’s political representation), with Costa Rica in first place.

The index analyzes the proportion of women who serve as heads of state or government, in cabinets, in national legislatures, as candidates for national legislatures, and in local government bodies, and visualizes the gender gap in political representation. The interactive presentation includes the following features:

  • a dynamic global map displaying each country’s indicators for gender parity in representation
  • a searchable list of current female heads of state or government
  • a customizable table to compare data on gender parity from different nations and regions

More on:

Women and Women's Rights

Elections and Voting

Congresses and Parliaments


Explore the Index here>>

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