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The Thread

The Thread: Women and Leadership

In the U.S., why isn't the percentage of government seats held by women higher?

Canada's National Post has created an excellent infographic illustrating the data in Save the Children's State of the World's Mothers report. Co.Exist's Ariel Schwartz dug into the report and visualization this morning.

click to enlarge

 

The data highlights the fact that the U.S. lags behind many other nations when it comes to the percentage of government seats held by women—an issue that has been part of the broader, voracious debate reignited in recent weeks by Anne-Marie Slaughter's "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" essay in The Atlantic. In the U.S., only 17% of government seats are held by women. Compare that to Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and even non-Scandinavian nations like Cuba, Nicaragua, South Africa, and Rwanda (Rwanda incorporates a constitutional quota system), all of which can boast that at least 40% of their government seats are held by women, according to Save the Children's data.

Why do you think the percentage of government seats held by women is lower in the United States than it is in some other countries—and what, if anything, should be done to change the ratio? Tell us in the comments section below—we'll update this post with your responses next week.