Female members of parliament

In 2018, 39.6% of elected representatives in the federal, regional and community parliaments in Belgium were women. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must increase to 50%. This objective will not be reached by continuing the trend since 2003. The share of female members of parliament is therefore developing unfavourably.

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Female members of parliament - Belgium - trend assessment

percentage of members in national and regional parliaments

 20032005201020152018202020252030
observations29.632.839.540.739.6------
trend and extrapolation30.732.537.440.541.441.942.743.2
objective 203050.050.050.050.050.050.050.050.0

European Institute for Gender Equality (2019), Gender Statistics Database, Women and men in decision making, http://eige.europa.eu/ (consulted on 08/04/2019) & calculations FPB.

Female members of parliament - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of members in national and regional parliaments

 2003200520102013201520182018//20032018//2013
Belgium29.632.839.540.340.739.62.0-0.4
EU2823.527.128.430.231.332.52.21.5
//: Average Growth Rates

European Institute for Gender Equality (2019), Gender Statistics Database, Women and men in decision making, http://eige.europa.eu/ (consulted on 08/04/2019).

Definition: share of women elected to federal, regional and community parliaments. The data come from the European Institute for Gender Equality.

Goal: women elected to parliament should hold about half the seats.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 5.5: "Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life".

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development includes objective 1: "Women and men will enjoy their rights equally. They will be able to contribute to all aspects of the development of society and to the improvement of living conditions without distinction, exclusion or restriction on the grounds of sex” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

International comparison: at European level, the trend is also towards an increase in the proportion of women in national parliaments, from 23.5% in 2003 to 32.5% in 2018. Belgium, with 39.6% women elected to parliament, is above average, and close to Sweden, which is the most egalitarian country with 47.9% of female parliamentarians. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the best performance in 2018.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to indicator 5.5.1 - Proportion of seats held by women in a) national parliaments and b) local governments.

Sources

  • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

  • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 26/04/2019).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 26/04/2019).

More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).