1 more than 40%
2 20% to 39%
3 10% to 19%
4 1% to 9%
5 None
6 No Data
1 less than 2%
2 2% to 4.9%
3 5% to 9.9%
4 10% to 14.9%
5 15% to 24.9%
6 25% to 34.9%
7 35% or over
8 No Data

Making Women's Voices Heard

What does it mean ?

The proportion of parliamentary seats held by women refers to the number of seats held be women members in single or lower chambers of national parliaments, divided by the total number of all occupied seats.

Why does it matter ?

MDG Goal 3 aimed to promote gender equality and empower women. One critical way of achieving this goal is to ensure women’s voices are heard at the national level when making policy decisions that affect them.

This indicator represents the proportion of parliamentary seats held by women for each country. The aim of this indicator is to show that countries which have greater representation of women by women are on the way to achieving gender equality and female empowerment.

How is it collected ?

National parliaments can be bicameral or unicameral. This indicator covers the single chamber in unicameral parliaments and the lower chamber in bicameral parliaments. It does not cover the upper chamber of bicameral parliaments. Seats are usually won by members in general parliamentary elections. Seats may also be filled by nomination, appointment, indirect election, rotation of members and by-election.

Seats refer to the number of parliamentary mandates, or the number of members of parliament.

The proportion of seats held by women in national parliament is derived by dividing the total number of seats occupied by women by the total number of seats in parliament.

There is no weighting or normalising of statistics.

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) www.ipu.org. Data represent most recently available year, 2012 – 2015. http://databank.worldbank.org/data/reports.aspx?source=2&series=SG.GEN.PARL.ZS&country=

Births by Caesarean Section

What does it mean ?

This indicator shows the number of births by caesarean section relative to all births. Birth by caesarean section requires specialist health worker skills, an operating theatre and availability of specific drugs and medical products.

Why does it matter ?

All pregnancies are associated with risk and when medically justified, a caesarean section can prevent maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. However, because any surgery carries risk of complications, caesarean sections should not be performed unless it is medically required. According to the World Health Organisation, about 10-15 % of all births require delivery by caesarean section. As such, caesarean section rates lower than 10% indicates under-use and caesarean section rates over 15 % indicate over-use. Because birth by caesarean section requires specialist medical skills and health services, this indicators is sometimes used as a proxy indicator to measure the availability of quality of maternal health services in countries where data from health information systems and health facility surveys are limited.

How is it collected ?

Data on the percent of birth by caesarean section is usually derived from large scale, nationally representative surveys such as Demographic and Health (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), other national surveys. DHS/ MICS are household surveys where women are asked if they have given birth (usually in the last three or five years) and the circumstances surrounding the birth including if they had a caesarean section.

"The Increasing Trend in Caesarean Section Rates: Global, Regional and National Estimates: 1990-2014" Betrán, A., et al. PLoS One. 2016; 11(2): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743929/