Female Members in National Assembly

A. Definition

The proportion of seats held by women in the national assembly

B.How to measure

Percentage of female parliamentarians = (Number of women elected/ Total number of members in the national assembly) × 100
* Figures including district representatives and proportional representatives

C. Features and Sources

Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Frequency
Right to Freedom Political Rights Rights to Get Elected Objective/Result National Election Commission An Overview of the National Assembly Election 2000 4 years

D.Interpretation

Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.” Furthermore, article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea indicates that “All citizens shall have the right to hold public office under the conditions as prescribed by Act.” The core value of democracy is achieved through the political reflection of the people through free voting. In particular, citizens express their political views and demands through elections, thereby establishing legitimacy and representation in the political process. Particularly in the political and social participation areas, it is essential how much opportunities for participation are given in a fair way. Notably, it will be crucial to check how actively women participate and how women’s positions and demands are reflected in the political participation process. This can also be clearly seen through Article 7 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Looking at the status of female parliamentarians since 2000, it was only 5.9% in 2000, but it was 17% in 2016, which is the highest ever in the history of the election that was held in Korea. However, it is still numerically insufficient. Of course, as it can be seen in the case of Korea’s first female president election, the fact that the increase in the number of female parliamentarians does not merely mean the extension of the women’s rights. The entry of women legislators into the National Assembly should be a stepping stone that leads not only to extending women’s rights but also to the overall improvement of human rights.

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