ALMOST 20% of the world’s parliamentary seats are now occupied by women, up from 17.2% five years ago, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Nordic countries have the highest share of women in single or lower houses of parliament, averaging 42%. Europe, Africa and Asia follow with around 19-20% of total seats. Arab states still trail behind, with less than 12% women parliamentarians, though quotas have helped increase representation, up from 9.5% five years ago. Of the 59 elections held last year around the world, 17 countries had quotas for women. Countries with quotas saw women gain 27% of seats, compared with only 16% in those without. Women are expected to do well on May 10th, when Algeria goes to the polls, thanks to its law requiring 30% of electoral candidates to be female—currently only 8% of women hold parliamentary seats (not shown). Egypt, which has removed its quota, has one of the lowest shares of women parliamentarians at less than 2%.