Research by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) found Scotland follows Iceland and Nicaragua in terms of female political empowerment while the UK is ranked 13th.
Analysts from SPICe studied the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017 which measures political empowerment by the number of women in parliament, in ministerial office and as head of government over time.
The UK ranked 17th in the world but Scotland was not included in the report, so SPICe analysts studied the data to discover where Scotland would be placed.
They found Scotland would be placed at 27th in the world in terms of the number of women in parliament, with a female to male MSP ratio of 0.55. The UK is placed 38th.
The analysis shows Scotland comes in at number seven in its number of women to men at ministerial level, after six countries took joint first place - Bulgaria, Canada, France, Nicaragua, Slovenia and Sweden, while the UK is 23rd.
For the number of years with a female head of state over the past 50 years, Scotland is placed 14th while the UK takes the number eight spot.
SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: “100 years after some women gained the right to vote, women are still fighting for equal representation in politics.
“But this new analysis shows that Scotland is leading the way on women’s representation - with Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s first female First Minister leading a gender-balanced Cabinet.
“However, despite the huge progress made in the last century, we still need to go further to achieve true equality. The SNP will continue to work towards a Scotland where every girl and woman can reach her full potential and we will always use every power at our disposal to reach that goal.”