The staggering changes for women that have come about throughout history in religion, in government, in employment, in education, and in politics did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature. Generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance. They have worked very diligently to create a better world for themselves, and they have succeeded hugely. Unfortunately, this has not taken place in all countries around the globe.
Even though much progress has been made, women's equality is an issue that many countries struggle with, even the United States. In many countries, women are still viewed as property of men, so this would of course effect how they are seen in a professional way. Although women have come a long way in terms of breaking into a male dominated world, there are still advancements to be made. Women still have not earned the right to vote in some countries, so that would greatly affect the number of women in politics. On the other hand, there are some countries that have come a long way in terms of women's rights and equality. In countries like these that are well developed, the number of women in politics is going to be much greater. At the local government level the number of women councilors had been rising steadily, if less spectacularly, since the 1970's; so that across England, Scotland, and Wales more than one-quarter of councilors are women (Bochel 2000).
Countries that have made the most significant advances are those where the electoral system is not based on first past the post but proportional representation. Compare elections in the Netherlands (an example of strict proportionality) with those in the UK (a purely majoritarian system).