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Why is parity important?

  • For democratic justice: women constitute 53% of the population in Puerto Rico and must participate equally in decision-making.

  • For the potential of diverse leadership: women bring different knowledge, skills and experiences that contribute to better governance.

  • To move towards substantive equality: this requires a qualitative leap from formal equality to real equality. Evidence shows that in countries where women are substantively involved in decision-making there is progress in legislation and policies that address gaps and inequalities.

  • By its transformative effects on social and political culture: it mitigates beliefs and stereotypes that generate discrimination against women, and generates new models and roles with multiplier effects in the new generations, in political institutions and in all areas of life.

  • For democratic quality: equal participation strengthens democratic representativeness and increases opportunities for the interests and needs of women in their diversity to be taken into account. This leads to greater prospects for good governance and accelerates the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

A country which ignores, excludes or makes invisible more than half the population cannot be called truly democratic.

Facts and figures: Women’s leadership and political participation in Puerto Rico

Women’s participation and leadership in politics and public life on an equal footing are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.  However, the data show that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making around the world. Achieving gender parity in politics is therefore still far off.

Women in the Executive Branch

  • Since the passage of the Governor-Elect Act in 1948, Puerto Rico has elected only one woman to the position of Governor, Sila María Calderón, in 2000.

  • Only 5 women have aspired to governorship since 1948.

  • Of 158 government agencies and entities, 34 are headed by women. This represents 22%.

Women in the Legislature

Of 78 legislative seats, only 24 are held by women. This represents 31%.

Women in the Judicial Branch

  • The Supreme Court is currently presided over by a woman, Hon. Maité Oronoz

  • The Supreme Court has been presided over by 3 women since 

  • Supreme Court- Of the six seats in the Supreme Court, 3 are occupied by women.

  • Court of Appeals- As of 30 June 2019, of the 35 seats 17 were occupied by women.

  • Court of First Instance- As of 30 June 2019, of the 303 places, 182 were occupied by women.

Women in the City Halls

Of 78 municipalities, only 9 are headed by women mayors.

Electoral Participation

In the 2020 election, 165 women ran for the main elective positions and 150 of them were certified as candidates. Of these, 65 faced a primary process and 37 of them won their primary. The total of official candidates totaled 122. Of these, 34 women were elected in the general election on 3 November 2020.

Source: and

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