From a low 16.6 % of female Members in the first directly elected legislature in 1979, the percentage of women has risen after each election up to 41% after the 2019 elections. As of January 2021, the percentage of women Members of the European Parliament has fallen since the 2019 elections and now stands at 38.9 %. This is above the world average for national parliaments and above the European average for national parliaments, which stands at 30.5 %. However, there are large differences between Member States. At one end of the spectrum, a growing number of countries are at or around parity. At the other end, in Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Greece, women make up less than a quarter of Members of the European Parliament. Cyprus now has no women Members, a contrast with the share of 16.7 % in the last mandate. In Bulgaria, the share of women has risen to 29.4 % from 17.6 % in the last mandate. Interestingly, Malta, whose gender-equality record in national politics is near the bottom compared to other EU Member States, has gender parity in the European Parliament, with 50 % of its Members being women.