But Leonardo Arriola and Martha Johnson find that the “growth of women in African governance has not necessarily translated into real influence”:
Previous scholarship has shown that women around the world typically receive appointments to less prestigious, more “feminine,” ministerial portfolios like women’s affairs, which are rarely launching pads for greater authority. This remains true in much of Africa. Based on data from 43 African countries between 1980 and 2005, we find that women are significantly less likely than men to receive high prestige appointments in areas such as finance or defense. Women are more likely to be found in medium prestige portfolios like education, which may have sizable personnel and resources but little influence, or low prestige portfolios like culture with small budgets and narrow constituencies.
Update from a reader:
Thanks to your post, I am led to the full list and find where China stands. China’s ranking (61st with 23.4% women in the “single house”), while low, masks the true disparity that is appalling. The people’s congress is known to be the rubber-stamp chamber anyway. Two other statistics could be more telling. Among the officials at or above the provincial and ministry ranks, 11% are women. There are two women in the current politburo of 25, or 8%.