Almost 29 percent of Hawaii’s lawmakers this year are women, according to July data from the National Conference on State Legislatures.

That might not sound like that high of a percentage, but it’s actually the 14th-highest in the country.

It caught the attention of Rep. Della Au Belatti, the chair of the House Health Committee and one of Hawaii’s 22 female legislators.

Approximately 1,794 women served across the nation in 2015 legislative sessions, but they barely made up one-fourth of all state lawmakers.

Colorado had the highest percentage – 42 percent – of female lawmakers nationwide. Meanwhile, Louisiana had the lowest with 11.8 percent.

Since last year, there was essentially no change in the gender makeup of state lawmakers – a 0.1 percent increase from 24.2 percent in 2014 to 24.3 percent this year.

On a national level, the combined number of women in the U.S. House and Senate passed the 100 mark for the first time last November, according to

Yet the 104 women in Congress this year make up less than 20 percent of total lawmakers. Compared to other countries, the U.S. isn’t doing so well when it comes to gender equality in Congress.

Out of 190 countries, we took 71st in the world for the highest percentage of female lawmakers, according to June 2015 data compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Rwanda actually elects the highest percentage of female lawmakers, with women making up 64 percent of the country’s lower house of Parliament. Even Cuba has more female lawmakers than the U.S., with the world’s third highest percentage at 49 percent.

Rep Della Au Belatti on the floor during recess.  7 may 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rep Della Au Belatti on the floor of the Hawaii House of Representatives.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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