Women in the European Parliament (infographics) 


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 European Parliament  

While the European Parliament stands for gender equality, 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, 39.3% of MEPs are now women.

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

Proportion of female and male MEPs per EU country  

Since January 2022, Parliament is being presided over by a woman: Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola. In the current ninth parliamentary term, eight of the 14 vice-presidents are women, more than in the previous term when there were five.

Women in a top position at the Parliament  

Women in top EU jobs

In 2019, two EU institutions broke the glass ceiling and welcomed their first ever female president.

Ursula von der Leyen became president of the European Commission with a College of Commissioners featuring 12 women and 14 men.

Christine Lagarde became president of European Central Bank, backed by the European Parliament, which has been calling for more women in high-level posts in economic and monetary affairs. Economic decision-making continues to be the area where the EU scores the lowest in terms of gender equality and women’s representation.

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