In light of #JacindaMania taking New Zealand by storm, and with Suffrage Day being celebrated yesterday, we thought we’d take a look at how many female candidates are standing this election, and how the number of women in our parliament stack up against the rest of the world.

Women make up 51.9% of New Zealand’s population. Put another way, there are 114,000 more women than men in NZ. This equates to a city the size of Tauranga.

But according to the latest World Classification list for female representation in national parliaments, New Zealand ranks 33rd in the world. This means women hold 41 out of 120 parliamentary seats, or 34.2%.

For a country who prides itself on women’s suffrage (to the point where people observe the occasion each year on Suffrage Day, September 19th), surely we shouldn’t be settling for this. We need to be aiming for an equal number of representatives in our parliamentary system.

At our recent Ace Lady Network event More than a pretty face: 4 Women under 40 talk politics, our panelists (all past, current or hopeful Members of Parliament) discussed what being a women in parliament is really like.

The difficulties of childcare in a parliament where sessions last until 10pm, unconscious bias, bullying, mansplaining and hundreds of abusive emails, tweets and messages from the public mean you need to be thick-skinned to take on the role of an MP.

Holly Walker summed it up when she commented “a lot of women look at the abuse women get in public life and say, ‘that’s not for me,’ and that is why we don’t have equal representation in parliament.”

Despite this, the political spectrum of our panelists all shared the deep desire to ensure women are in positions of influence. All said they entered politics to serve their communities and help bring about change.

So what about this upcoming election? Will there be an opportunity to have equal representation in 2017?

According to Electoral Commission there are 341 male, 190 female, and 3 gender diverse candidates registered for election. This is an improvement on the 2014 figures, where there were 390 male and 164 female candidates.

But it’s important to look at this information with the list ranking system in mind. Many of the 190 female candidates are low on the party lists. In a lot of cases, this will make representation in parliament unlikely. Occasionally, a party will buck this trend — like the Green Party, who have seven female candidates in their top ten list.

Simply, we need progress toward a more gender-equal parliament — and the only way to show parties we care about this issue is to use your vote. With only two days to go before the election, we challenge you to think about inclusive and diversity before you cast your ballot.