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Countries where political representation of women is lowest

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diplomedia // Shutterstock

Countries where political representation of women is lowest

A surge of female candidates entering American political races has prompted news organizations like CNN to call 2018 the "year of the woman." But how does the political representation of women here compare to that around the world? And in particular, where is the political representation of women lowest?

To find out, Stacker looked at data from The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, which is a collection of indices used to evaluate gender equality that the organization has developed through an analysis of global data. We focused in on the political empowerment index, which compares countries based on the ratio of women to men in national governments. That index is comprised of the ratio of women to men in parliament or the legislative equivalent (weight 31%), the ratio of women to men in ministerial positions (weight 24.7%), and the number of years with a female head of state in the past 50 years compared to the number of years with a male head of state (44.3%).

Countries are listed in this slideshow from #50 (lower/better political empowerment rank) to #1 (highest/worst political empowerment rank), but without consideration to the strength or weakness of a country's democratic system. It should go without saying that there's no parallel of a first-world democracy to some of the dictatorships, patriarchal monarchies, military states, and active war zones on this list. So while even during the "year of the woman" the U.S. earns a shockingly low political empowerment rank, that doesn't necessarily translate into a reduced overall political empowerment level for women within the country when you consider our stronger democratic system.

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Usman.pg // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Pakistan

Political empowerment index score: 0.127 (Rank: #95)

Women in parliament: 20.6% (Rank: #75; Female/male ratio: 0.26)

Women in ministerial positions: 0% (Rank: #139; Female/male ratio: 0)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 4.7 (Rank: #28; Female/male ratio: 0.1)

Overall gender gap rank: #143 (Score: 0.546)

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Lawrence Jackson // Wikimedia Commons

#49. United States

Political empowerment index score: 0.124 (Rank: #96)

Women in parliament: 19.4% (Rank: #85; Female/male ratio: 0.24)*

Women in ministerial positions: 16.7% (Rank: #84; Female/male ratio: 0.2)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #49 (Score: 0.718)

 

* Represents women in U.S. Congress (House of Representatives and Senate)

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James Mason-Hudson // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Vietnam

Political empowerment index score: 0.124 (Rank: #97)

Women in parliament: 26.7% (Rank: #55; Female/male ratio: 0.36)

Women in ministerial positions: 4.2% (Rank: #133; Female/male ratio: 0.04)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #69 (Score: 0.698)

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Lyn Gateley // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Bahamas

Political empowerment index score: 0.122 (Rank: #98)

Women in parliament: 12.8% (Rank: #111; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Women in ministerial positions: 23.5% (Rank: #47; Female/male ratio: 0.31)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0.1 (Rank: #63; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #27 (Score: 0.743)

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Ferdinand Reus // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Mali

Political empowerment index score: 0.118 (Rank: #99)

Women in parliament: 8.8% (Rank: #131; Female/male ratio: 0.1)

Women in ministerial positions: 24.2% (Rank: #41; Female/male ratio: 0.32)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 1 (Rank: #51; Female/male ratio: 0.02)

Overall gender gap rank: #139 (Score: 0.583)

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Ben Bender // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Morocco

Political empowerment index score: 0.117 (Rank: #100)

Women in parliament: 20.5% (Rank: #76; Female/male ratio: 0.26)

Women in ministerial positions: 13% (Rank: #100; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #136 (Score: 0.598)

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chenisyuan // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Singapore

Political empowerment index score: 0.11 (Rank: #101)

Women in parliament: 23.8% (Rank: #62; Female/male ratio: 0.31)

Women in ministerial positions: 5.3% (Rank: #129; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #65 (Score: 0.702)

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Stefan Krasowski // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Swaziland

Political empowerment index score: 0.109 (Rank: #102)

Women in parliament: 6.2% (Rank: #135; Female/male ratio: 0.07)

Women in ministerial positions: 26.3% (Rank: #35; Female/male ratio: 0.36)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #105 (Score: 0.67)

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Daniel Haußmann // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Ukraine

Political empowerment index score: 0.107 (Rank: #103)

Women in parliament: 12.3% (Rank: #116; Female/male ratio: 0.14)

Women in ministerial positions: 13% (Rank: #100; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 2.8 (Rank: #36; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Overall gender gap rank: #61 (Score: 0.705)

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Ikiwaner // Wikimedia Commons

#41. The Gambia

Political empowerment index score: 0.106 (Rank: #104)

Women in parliament: 10.3% (Rank: #124; Female/male ratio: 0.12)

Women in ministerial positions: 22.2% (Rank: #56; Female/male ratio: 0.29)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #119 (Score: 0.649)

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Matthias Süßen // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Fiji

Political empowerment index score: 0.104 (Rank: #105)

Women in parliament: 16% (Rank: #101; Female/male ratio: 0.19)

Women in ministerial positions: 15.4% (Rank: #92; Female/male ratio: 0.18)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #125 (Score: 0.638)

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Jwslubbock // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Cambodia

Political empowerment index score: 0.104 (Rank: #106)

Women in parliament: 20.3% (Rank: #77; Female/male ratio: 0.26)

Women in ministerial positions: 9.1% (Rank: #115; Female/male ratio: 0.1)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #99 (Score: 0.676)

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Vidor // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Mongolia

Political empowerment index score: 0.102 (Rank: #107)

Women in parliament: 17.1% (Rank: #96; Female/male ratio: 0.21)

Women in ministerial positions: 13.3% (Rank: #98; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #53 (Score: 0.713)

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Zenman // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Côte d'Ivoire

Political empowerment index score: 0.102 (Rank: #108)

Women in parliament: 10.6% (Rank: #122; Female/male ratio: 0.12)

Women in ministerial positions: 20.9% (Rank: #66; Female/male ratio: 0.26)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #133 (Score: 0.611)

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Rigostar // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Guatemala

Political empowerment index score: 0.102 (Rank: #109)

Women in parliament: 12.7% (Rank: #114; Female/male ratio: 0.14)

Women in ministerial positions: 18.8% (Rank: #74; Female/male ratio: 0.23)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #110 (Score: 0.667)

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José Cruz/ABr // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Brazil

Political empowerment index score: 0.101 (Rank: #110)

Women in parliament: 10.7% (Rank: #121; Female/male ratio: 0.12)

Women in ministerial positions: 4% (Rank: #134; Female/male ratio: 0.04)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 5.4 (Rank: #25; Female/male ratio: 0.12)

Overall gender gap rank: #90 (Score: 0.684)

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Rita Willaert // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Armenia

Political empowerment index score: 0.099 (Rank: #111)

Women in parliament: 18.1% (Rank: #93; Female/male ratio: 0.22)

Women in ministerial positions: 11.1% (Rank: #106; Female/male ratio: 0.13)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #97 (Score: 0.677)

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James Cridland // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Ghana

Political empowerment index score: 0.097 (Rank: #112)

Women in parliament: 12.7% (Rank: #113; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Women in ministerial positions: 17.4% (Rank: #81; Female/male ratio: 0.21)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #72 (Score: 0.695)

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Cmasi // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Paraguay

Political empowerment index score: 0.094 (Rank: #113)

Women in parliament: 13.8% (Rank: #109; Female/male ratio: 0.16)

Women in ministerial positions: 15.4% (Rank: #92; Female/male ratio: 0.18)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #96 (Score: 0.678)

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VOA // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Georgia

Political empowerment index score: 0.093 (Rank: #114)

Women in parliament: 16% (Rank: #101; Female/male ratio: 0.19)

Women in ministerial positions: 11.1% (Rank: #106; Female/male ratio: 0.13)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0.3 (Rank: #60; Female/male ratio: 0.01)

Overall gender gap rank: #94 (Score: 0.679)

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Pixabay

#30. Cyprus

Political empowerment index score: 0.092 (Rank: #115)

Women in parliament: 17.9% (Rank: #94; Female/male ratio: 0.22)

Women in ministerial positions: 9.1% (Rank: #115; Female/male ratio: 0.1)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #92 (Score: 0.684)

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Ashok Prabhakaran // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Mauritius

Political empowerment index score: 0.09 (Rank: #116)

Women in parliament: 11.6% (Rank: #119; Female/male ratio: 0.13)

Women in ministerial positions: 10% (Rank: #109; Female/male ratio: 0.11)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 2.4 (Rank: #40; Female/male ratio: 0.05)

Overall gender gap rank: #112 (Score: 0.664)

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Rjruiziii // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Tajikistan

Political empowerment index score: 0.088 (Rank: #117)

Women in parliament: 19% (Rank: #88; Female/male ratio: 0.24)

Women in ministerial positions: 5.9% (Rank: #126; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #95 (Score: 0.678)

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Voice of America // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Turkey

Political empowerment index score: 0.088 (Rank: #118)

Women in parliament: 14.6% (Rank: #108; Female/male ratio: 0.17)

Women in ministerial positions: 3.8% (Rank: #135; Female/male ratio: 0.04)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 2.7 (Rank: #38; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Overall gender gap rank: #131 (Score: 0.625)

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Ahmed Photographer // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Egypt

Political empowerment index score: 0.087 (Rank: #119)

Women in parliament: 14.9% (Rank: #107; Female/male ratio: 0.18)

Women in ministerial positions: 11.8% (Rank: #104; Female/male ratio: 0.13)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #134 (Score: 0.608)

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Kayhan ERTUGRUL // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Chad

Political empowerment index score: 0.087 (Rank: #120)

Women in parliament: 12.8% (Rank: #112; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Women in ministerial positions: 14.3% (Rank: #94; Female/male ratio: 0.17)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #141 (Score: 0.575)

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RudolfSimon // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Russian Federation

Political empowerment index score: 0.085 (Rank: #121)

Women in parliament: 15.8% (Rank: #105; Female/male ratio: 0.19)

Women in ministerial positions: 9.7% (Rank: #113; Female/male ratio: 0.11)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #71 (Score: 0.696)

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Iulus Ascanius // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Botswana

Political empowerment index score: 0.079 (Rank: #122)

Women in parliament: 9.5% (Rank: #127; Female/male ratio: 0.11)

Women in ministerial positions: 15.8% (Rank: #88; Female/male ratio: 0.19)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #46 (Score: 0.72)

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Kimtaro // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Japan

Political empowerment index score: 0.078 (Rank: #123)

Women in parliament: 9.3% (Rank: #129; Female/male ratio: 0.1)

Women in ministerial positions: 15.8% (Rank: #88; Female/male ratio: 0.19)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #114 (Score: 0.657)

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Younisjunejo // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Saudi Arabia

Political empowerment index score: 0.077 (Rank: #124)

Women in parliament: 19.9% (Rank: #82; Female/male ratio: 0.25)

Women in ministerial positions: 0% (Rank: #139; Female/male ratio: 0)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #138 (Score: 0.584)

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Sputniktilt // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Burkina Faso

Political empowerment index score: 0.075 (Rank: #125)

Women in parliament: 11% (Rank: #120; Female/male ratio: 0.12)

Women in ministerial positions: 13% (Rank: #100; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #121 (Score: 0.646)

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Tareq Ibrahim Hadi // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Jordan

Political empowerment index score: 0.075 (Rank: #126)

Women in parliament: 15.4% (Rank: #106; Female/male ratio: 0.18)

Women in ministerial positions: 7.1% (Rank: #120; Female/male ratio: 0.08)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #135 (Score: 0.604)

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Terence Ong // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Thailand

Political empowerment index score: 0.072 (Rank: #127)

Women in parliament: 4.8% (Rank: #140; Female/male ratio: 0.05)

Women in ministerial positions: 11.1% (Rank: #106; Female/male ratio: 0.13)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 2.8 (Rank: #37; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Overall gender gap rank: #75 (Score: 0.694)

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Giorgio Montersino // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Maldives

Political empowerment index score: 0.072 (Rank: #128)

Women in parliament: 5.9% (Rank: #136; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Women in ministerial positions: 17.6% (Rank: #79; Female/male ratio: 0.21)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #106 (Score: 0.669)

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Osia ZANNOU // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Benin

Political empowerment index score: 0.065 (Rank: #129)

Women in parliament: 7.2% (Rank: #134; Female/male ratio: 0.08)

Women in ministerial positions: 14.3% (Rank: #94; Female/male ratio: 0.17)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #116 (Score: 0.652)

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Pixabay

#15. Syria

Political empowerment index score: 0.063 (Rank: #130)

Women in parliament: 13.2% (Rank: #110; Female/male ratio: 0.15)

Women in ministerial positions: 6.1% (Rank: #125; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #142 (Score: 0.568)

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Bilal41 / Pixabay

#14. Azerbaijan

Political empowerment index score: 0.063 (Rank: #131)

Women in parliament: 16.8% (Rank: #98; Female/male ratio: 0.2)

Women in ministerial positions: 0% (Rank: #139; Female/male ratio: 0)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #98 (Score: 0.676)

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Htoo Tay Zar // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Myanmar

Political empowerment index score: 0.059 (Rank: #132)

Women in parliament: 10.2% (Rank: #125; Female/male ratio: 0.11)

Women in ministerial positions: 5% (Rank: #130; Female/male ratio: 0.05)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 1.2 (Rank: #50; Female/male ratio: 0.03)

Overall gender gap rank: #83 (Score: 0.691)

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Aizuddin Saad / Shutterstock.com

#12. Malaysia

Political empowerment index score: 0.058 (Rank: #133)

Women in parliament: 10.4% (Rank: #123; Female/male ratio: 0.12)

Women in ministerial positions: 8.3% (Rank: #118; Female/male ratio: 0.09)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #104 (Score: 0.67)

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Christopher J. Fynn // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Bhutan

Political empowerment index score: 0.056 (Rank: #134)

Women in parliament: 8.5% (Rank: #132; Female/male ratio: 0.09)

Women in ministerial positions: 10% (Rank: #109; Female/male ratio: 0.11)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #124 (Score: 0.638)

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Shiraz Chakera // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Nigeria

Political empowerment index score: 0.052 (Rank: #135)

Women in parliament: 5.6% (Rank: #139; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Women in ministerial positions: 12% (Rank: #103; Female/male ratio: 0.14)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #122 (Score: 0.641)

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Mahdi Sigari // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Iran, Islamic Rep.

Political empowerment index score: 0.046 (Rank: #136)

Women in parliament: 5.9% (Rank: #136; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Women in ministerial positions: 9.7% (Rank: #113; Female/male ratio: 0.11)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #140 (Score: 0.583)

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Wadiia // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Bahrain

Political empowerment index score: 0.037 (Rank: #137)

Women in parliament: 7.5% (Rank: #133; Female/male ratio: 0.08)

Women in ministerial positions: 4.5% (Rank: #131; Female/male ratio: 0.05)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #126 (Score: 0.632)

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Jorge Franganillo // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Hungary

Political empowerment index score: 0.035 (Rank: #138)

Women in parliament: 10.1% (Rank: #126; Female/male ratio: 0.11)

Women in ministerial positions: 0% (Rank: #139; Female/male ratio: 0)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #103 (Score: 0.67)

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Haakon S. Krohn // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Belize

Political empowerment index score: 0.032 (Rank: #139)

Women in parliament: 9.4% (Rank: #128; Female/male ratio: 0.1)

Women in ministerial positions: 0% (Rank: #139; Female/male ratio: 0)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #79 (Score: 0.692)

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Daniel Weiss // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Brunei Darussalam

Political empowerment index score: 0.031 (Rank: #140)

Women in parliament: 9.1% (Rank: #130; Female/male ratio: 0.1)

Women in ministerial positions: 0% (Rank: #139; Female/male ratio: 0)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #102 (Score: 0.671)

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xiquinhosilva // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Kuwait

Political empowerment index score: 0.027 (Rank: #141)

Women in parliament: 3.1% (Rank: #142; Female/male ratio: 0.03)

Women in ministerial positions: 6.7% (Rank: #121; Female/male ratio: 0.07)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #129 (Score: 0.628)

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Dr. Ghazi Omar Tadmouri // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Lebanon

Political empowerment index score: 0.019 (Rank: #142)

Women in parliament: 3.1% (Rank: #141; Female/male ratio: 0.03)

Women in ministerial positions: 3.4% (Rank: #138; Female/male ratio: 0.04)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #137 (Score: 0.596)

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Ahmed Isse Haji // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Qatar

Political empowerment index score: 0.016 (Rank: #143)

Women in parliament: 0% (Rank: #143; Female/male ratio: 0)

Women in ministerial positions: 6.3% (Rank: #122; Female/male ratio: 0.07)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #130 (Score: 0.626)

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ai@ce // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Yemen

Political empowerment index score: 0.014 (Rank: #144)

Women in parliament: 0% (Rank: #143; Female/male ratio: 0)

Women in ministerial positions: 5.4% (Rank: #128; Female/male ratio: 0.06)

Years with female head of state (of the last 50): 0 (Rank: #69; Female/male ratio: 0)

Overall gender gap rank: #144 (Score: 0.516)

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