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Mari Kiviniemi

Global gender gap in politics wide, women legislators say

Encouraging women to enter local politics, setting quotas in parliaments and pushing legislation on gender equality help narrow gender gaps in politics, participants at a conference of women lawmakers said Wednesday.

Despite progress, such gaps remain wide around the world, said Silvana Koch-Mehrin, founder of the "Women in Parliaments" network.

About 80 percent of lawmakers and 95 percent of heads of state in the world are men, she said at the start of the two-day meeting in the Jordanian parliament.

The conference drew 260 legislators, as well as current and former female heads of state, from dozens of countries. It was the network's fifth international...