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Once a world leader, Asia now trails in women lawmakers

Philippines, Laos and China among best in terms of females in parliament

A woman shows her finger after voting in national elections in the Philippines. The Southeast Asian nation ranks above the global average in women in parliament.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Back in 1995, Asia was at the forefront of breaking the political glass ceiling for women. Twenty-three years later, the region has fallen behind the world average.

Asia's average proportion of women in parliament -- lower and upper houses combined -- stood at 18.6% in 2017, behind the Americas' 28.4%, Europe's 27.1% and sub-Saharan Africa's 23.6%, according to a report by the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union.

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