Assembly Election 2016: Women’s political representation

Published 27/05/2016   |   Last Updated 27/05/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

Article by Owen Holzinger, Helen Jones and David Millett, National Assembly for Wales Research Service

Since devolution, the proportion of Assembly Members who are women, elected to the National Assembly for Wales has been among the highest in the world, compared to other legislatures. In 2003 the National Assembly for Wales was the first legislature in the world to elect an equal number of men and women Assembly Members (AMs). Since then there has been a decline in the number of women AMs. However, following the National Assembly election 2016 the National Assembly for Wales remains the most representative of the devolved legislatures. The National Assembly election 2016 saw 25 women AMs elected, equating to 41.7% of Assembly Members. This is equal to 2011 and is up since the first National Assembly for Wales election in 1999. The World average is currently 22.7%. Following the election the National Assembly for Wales has a higher proportion of women representatives than the Scottish Parliament (34.9%), the House of Commons (29.4%) and the Northern Ireland Assembly (27.8%). In total, 553 candidates stood for election to the Assembly in 2016 (not adjusted for candidates who stood on both the regional list and for constituency office). Of these, 362 (65.5%) were men and 191 (34.5%) were women. Women made-up 31.5% of constituency candidates but were elected to 47.5% of constituencies. In the UK Parliament, female MPs represent 30.0% of Welsh constituencies. For more information on women in public life, please view our previous blog. Male and Female Representation-01