The number of women serving in parliaments around the world is "worryingly low" and barely increasing, according to a report by the UN's Inter-Parliamentary Union released.
Only 19.5 percent of the world's lawmakers are women.
Of the 188 countries studied, only 20 had parliaments where at least one-third of deputies were women and only Rwanda and Andorra could boast legislatures that are more than one-half women.
Seven countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have no women in parliament.
Despite the promise of the Arab Spring, the Middle East remains the only region in the world without a single parliament with at least 30 percent women.
Women accounted for 10.7 percent of lawmakers in 2011. Russia has 13.6 percent female lawmakers, the United States has 16.8 percent, and China, 21.3 percent.
With Reuters, AFP, and AP reporting