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Women should play a prominent role in politics, but how do they fare at the European Parliament? Find out in our infographics.

Proportion of women and men in the Parliament 

Women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life at local, national and European level, as shown by recent data.

Over the years, the percentage of female MEPs has increased. Only 31 women were members from 1952 until the first elections in 1979. In the first directly-elected European Parliament representation of women stood at 15.2%. The percentage of female members has gone up with each election. Currently, it stands at 36.4%.

As far as the representation of women in the European Parliament goes, it is above the world average for national parliaments and above the EU average for national parliaments.

Proportion of female and male MEPs per country 

The number of women in high-level posts in the European Parliament is also increasing. In the current eighth parliamentary term, five of the 14 vice-presidents are women, as are 11 of 23 committee chairs. That is up from three vice-presidents and eight chairs in the previous term.

Women in a top position at the Parliament 

In a report on gender mainstreaming, adopted in January 2019, Parliament called on the European political parties to ensure both women and men are put forward for the bodies governing the European Parliament in the next parliamentary term.