TITLE: Women in Politics

ACCESS: http://www.ipu.org/iss-e/women.htm

Women in Politics is the most developed section of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's (IPU) "Main Areas of Activity" pages. Women in Politics offers information on the Inter-Parliamentary Union activities and women within the IPU. The site also provides research tools, including several statistical and bibliographic resources that researchers will find useful: "Women in National Parliaments," the "Women in Politics" database, and "Useful Links."

"Women in National Parliaments" promotes a variety of statistical pages, each presenting easy-to-read tabular data. Here you can find answers to such questions as how many parliaments existed in 1945 and which country has the highest percentage of women in its lower or single legislative body. "50 Years of History" contains statistics on the number of national parliaments from 1945 to 1995. "Comparative Data by Country," updated in February 2004, shows that nearly 49 percent of Rwanda's parliamentarians are women. "Statistical Archive" provides information from 1997 to the present.

The "Women in Politics" database began in 1999 as a print publication. In addition to keyword searching it is possible to search by geographic area, named organization, subject area, author, and within one of the over 200 periodicals indexed. Geographic areas do not overlap; a citation covering Kuwait will not be retrieved through a "Middle East" geographic search. The search interface offers a valuable language limiter, as article titles and abstracts may be in any of 10 languages and are rarely translated into English. Subject headings in all retrieved citations are in English.

"Useful Links" contains Web sites arranged by geographic coverage (International vs. Regional/National) and by resource type (Bibliographic Databases and Web Directories). High-quality sources listed include "Zarate's Political Collections," "Emily's List," "Women's Human Rights Database," etc. The list had several broken links, but fortunately the page supplies an e-mail address for suggestions.

The Women in Politics Web site has its faults; no pages have "last updated" information, and few pages, aside from "Useful Links," list the IPU webmaster's e-mail address. This site is especially useful for its statistical data, less so for bibliographic information. Researchers should use this site as a starting point.

Heidi Senior
University of Portland

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