EUROPE: Cyprus among EU countries where women are almost invisible in politics

Women are unrepresented in male-dominated Cyprus politics with less than 20% female representation in parliament as MPs and in government as cabinet ministers.

Women MPs accounted for 18.2% in Cyprus last year, with little progress from a decade earlier when it was 16.1%.

Female ministers in Cyprus were 16.7% in 2018 up from 8.3% the year before but some way off the record high of 33% towards the acrimonious end of the Christofias administration in 2012.

Women held 30% of seats in national parliaments in the EU in 2018. This share has increased since 2003, when women accounted for about one-fifth (21%) of members in national parliaments.

However, the share of men in national parliaments is still considerably higher across the EU as a whole. No EU country had more women than men holding seats in parliament.

The share of seats held by women in national parliaments varies considerably between EU countries.

In 2018, Sweden had the highest share of women in its national parliament with 47%. Sweden was followed by Finland (42%), Belgium and Spain (both 40%).

A significant number of women also held seats in Austria (37%), Denmark and Portugal (both 36%) and Italy (35%).

At the opposite end of the scale, women account for less than one-fifth of the national parliament members in Hungary (13%), Malta (15%), Cyprus and Greece (18%) and Romania (20%).

The share of female members of government (senior and junior ministers) in the EU increased from 23% in 2003 to 30% in 2018.

In 2018, the largest share of female members of government was recorded in Spain and Sweden (52%), followed by France (49%), the Netherlands (42%) and Denmark (41%).

At the bottom end of the scale, women accounted for less than one fifth of members of the government in Hungary (7%), Malta (12%), Cyprus, Italy and Poland (17%).

The number of female presidents and prime ministers in EU countries also rose over the period 2003 � 2018. In 2018, there were three female heads of government (11 %) whereas there were none in 2003. Cyprus has never had a female president.

However, during this 15 year period, the share of female heads of government in the EU never exceeded 14%, meaning there were never more than four women in this position at the same time.

Source: The Financial Mirror