The Beijing Platform for Action, developed at a 1995 United Nations conference, set an agenda for women’s empowerment and identified 12 critical areas of concern. Twenty years after Beijing, ShareAmerica assesses global progress in each critical area. This article focuses on women’s contributions to government.

(State Dept./Edrick Agostini)

When women participate in government, the results can include closer attention to women’s rights and to the needs of children and local communities. Female legislators often excel in forging compromise solutions to common problems. In 1990, the United Nations called for a “critical mass” in which 30 percent of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women.

So, how’s the world doing? As our graphics show, we’re making progress but there’s still a way to go.

Data accurate as of March 2015