hrvatski sabor.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Denis CERIĆ / mm

The Government Office for Gender Equality on Tuesday called on political parties in Croatia to abide by the law and include at least 40 percent of women on their slates for the forthcoming early parliamentary election, noting that Croatia ranks 92nd out of 193 countries in the world by percentage of women in its national parliament.

"With 15.2 percent of women elected to parliament at the last election, according to the classification of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Croatia ranks 92nd in the world, considerably below the world average of 23 percent," Helena Stimac, acting director of the Office for Gender Equality, said in a statement.

She warned that in all previous parliaments women had been disproportionately represented considering their share in the membership of political parties. Data provided to the Office by parliamentary parties show that women account on average for 32 percent of the parties' membership.

Although the total number of women running in parliamentary elections increased from 24 percent in 2000 to 41 percent in 2015, the number of women elected at the parliamentary election in November 2015 was only 15.2 percent, the fewest in 15 years.

The Council of Europe's Gender Equality Commission has asked Croatia and other member states to report on the implementation of its recommendation on the balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision-making. The Office has submitted the answers to more than 100 questions about the participation of women in legislative, executive and judicial bodies and diplomacy. The data will be used for a comparative study on the position of women in public and political life in the Council of Europe member states, which will be made public, the statement said.

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