In World First, Women Form Majority in Rwanda Assembly

Boosted by quota system, females take 44 of 80 of parliamentary seats
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2008 2:19 PM CDT
A Rwandan woman casts a vote.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The second parliamentary election in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide has ushered in the only majority female parliament in the world, the BBC reports. Of 80 seats, 44 went to women—and that 55% could go higher after additional voting. Under the constitution drafted after the genocide, 30% of MPs must be women; a separate “quota” election is held after the general one.

The outgoing parliament, with 48.8% of seats held by women, had the highest percentage in the world. One Rwandan woman was practical about the advantages of females in power: “The real problems of a family are known by a woman and when they do it, they help a country to get much better.”