Electoral Quotas for Women

Given the slow rate at which the representation of women in decision-making bodies around the world is increasing, various positive action measures, such as electoral quotas, have been proposed or implemented to address the present gender imbalance in decision-making. Governments and political parties have experimented with different types of quotas; electoral quotas may be constitutionally or legislatively mandated or take the form of voluntary political party quotas. They usually set a target or minimum threshold for women, and may apply to the number of women candidates proposed by a party for election, or they may take the form of reserved seats in the legislature.

As the debate about the use of quotas as a measure to increase the political participation of women gains momentum, International IDEA is collaborating with Stockholm University in a global research project on electoral quotas for women. The project is the first global comparative analysis of the discursive controversies about quotas and how they work in practice.

Key Activities:

Country case studies from quotaproject.org

Designing for Equality

International IDEA also provides strategic advice on the combination of electoral systems and quotas available to practitioners, researchers and politicians. For example in Peru, International IDEA and local partner Transparencia have created a multi-party round table focused on the development of a new electoral code. Within the framework of this legislative project, participants have paid close attention to the impact of Peru’s electoral system on women’s political participation. The round table has presented and discussed different quota options that may be implemented together with a new electoral system, such as switching from an open list to a closed list system. A quota of 30 per cent representation of women on lists would be maintained, but with the addition of a placement mandate to ensure that women and men are placed in winnable positions, and not unfairly grouped at the bottom, or the top, of the party list.

To learn more on electoral systems and quotas read International IDEA publication: Designing for Equality: best-fit, medium-fit and non-favorable combinations of electoral systems and gender quotas.

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  • What is the biggest challenge for democracy in Mongolia today?
  • In this year's election, there was a significant rise in the number of women elected to parliament. But still, women only constitute 12% of the parliament. What can be done to increase women's participation in politics in Mongolia?
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNSGsgOqlTE
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International IDEA spoke with President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on his visit to Sweden Stockholm. 9 October 2012

  • What is the biggest challenge for democracy in Mongolia today?
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  • Mongolia will now embark on a new democracy assessment in cooperation with IDEA. What would you like to achieve with this democracy assessment?
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(New York, 2011-05-04)
http://www.youtube.com/user/internationalidea#p/u/12/Viig2nY2DlA
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