The recent Italian general election has been very good news for women with record numbers elected and the country significantly improving its position in the international rankings.
Prior to the election, 21% of MPs were female; after it this had risen to 31%.
As a result, Italy jumped 35 places in the global league table, rising from 63rd to 28th (out of 190 countries) and overtaking Switzerland (29%), Portugal (29%), Austria (28%), France (27%) Canada (25%) and the UK (22.5%) in the process.
The leftist Democratic party did best in terms of women elected (41%), followed by the new 5 Star Movement (38%). Silvio Belusconi's centre-right coalition had fewest women, although some individual parties within it did better than others, and his own Northern League, with only 14%, was amongst the worst.
At 57th in the table, the UK now lags behind all her western European and Scandinavia neighbours except Monaco (72nd on 19%) and Ireland (89th on 15%). Ireland has recently introduced compulsory legal quotas for candidates which will be implemented at her next general election in 2016.
Information on rankings based on data from the International Parliamentary Union