Female members of parliament (i29)

In 2021, 41.4% 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 (data available in November 2021). The share of female members of parliament is therefore developing unfavourably.

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Female members of parliament - Belgium - trend assessment

percentage in national and regional parliaments

 200020032005201020152020202120252030
observations--29.632.839.540.741.141.4----
trend and extrapolation (November 2021)--30.732.637.540.541.641.842.442.8
objective 203050.050.050.050.050.050.050.050.050.0

European Institute for Gender Equality (2021), Gender Statistics Database, Women and men in decision making, http://eige.europa.eu/ (consulted on 08/11/2021); calculations FPB.

Female members of parliament - Belgium and international comparison

percentage in national and regional parliaments

 2003200520102016202020212021//20032021//2016
Belgium29.632.839.541.041.141.41.90.2
EU2722.422.624.628.633.233.32.23.1
//: Average Growth Rates

European Institute for Gender Equality (2021), Gender Statistics Database, Women and men in decision making, http://eige.europa.eu/ (consulted on 08/11/2021).

Female members of parliament by region - Belgium

percentage of members

 20032005201020142015201820192019//20032019//2014
Brussels-Capital Region32.943.047.240.440.441.648.32.43.6
Flemish Region--30.939.543.544.441.146.0--1.1
Walloon Region12.521.637.342.741.341.337.37.1-2.7
Federal Parliament23.335.338.239.739.538.437.73.0-1.0
//: Average Growth Rates

European Institute for Gender Equality (2021), Gender Statistics Database, Women and men in decision making, http://eige.europa.eu/ (consulted on 08/11/2021); calculations FPB.

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 (EU27), the trend is towards an increase in the proportion of women in national parliaments, from 22.4% in 2003 to 33.3% in 2021. Belgium, with 41.4% (in 2021) women elected to parliament, is above average. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the best performance in 2018. In that year, Sweden ranked first with 47.2% and Hungary last with 12.1%.

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

More information is available in French and Dutch.