Guatemala (Republic of Guatemala) has a Unicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 31 of 160 (19%) seats in the Congreso de la República / Congress of the Republic are held by women.
At a glance
Structure of Parliament: Unicameral
Are there legislated quotas...
- For the Single/Lower House? No
- For the Sub-National Level? No
Are there voluntary quotas...
- Adopted by political parties? Yes
Is there additional information?...
Last updated: May 18, 2020
Voluntary Political Party Quotas*
|Party||Official name||Details, Quota provisions|
|National Unity for Hope Party||Unidad Nacional de Esperanza [UNE]||UNE has a 40 percent quota for women on electoral lists since 2007 (López Robles 2008, p. 15).|
|Guatemalan Revolutionary Unity||Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca [URNG]||At least 30 percent of each sex should be represented on electoral lists (2002; López Robles 2008, p. 14).|
|Seed Movement (Semilla)||Movimiento Semilla||Candidate lists for election positions and internal party positions may not have more than 60% of people of the same gender (Article 153).|
* Only political parties represented in parliament are included. When a country has legislated quotas in place, only political parties that have voluntary quotas that exceed the percentage/number of the national quota legislation are presented in this table.
In 1997 the Civic Alliance of Women's Associations and the National Office on Women proposed a quota for candidates for elected posts - maximum of 44 percent for either sex - but the Electoral Reform Commission argued that the proposal was discriminatory.
In 1998 a Bill was introduced in Congress proposing a system of quotas to increase women's political participation to 44 percent of all party lists at both the municipal and national levels. The bill left room for negotiation, setting 30 percent as the minimum acceptable percentage. Although the bill mustered more support than expected, its passage required a two-thirds majority, which it did not achieve.
In 2009, the CEDAW Committee encouraged Guatemala to amend the Electoral Law and Political Parties Act with the proposal of guaranteeing equal participation of women. However, this regulation has not been yet developed. (informe Atenea 2018, p.46).
- Constitution of Guatemala (rev. 2002)(Spanish version)
- Constitution of Guatemala (rev. 1994) (English version)
- Electoral Law and Political Parties Act (Spanish version)
- Informe Atenea (2018): "Si somos más de la mitad ¿Por qué no tenemos paridad? Avances y desafíos en la participación política de las mujeres en Guatemala". Guatemala: Atenea, International Idea, ONU Mujeres, UNDP.
- Llanos, B. (2019): "Surcando olas y contra-olas: Una mirada paritaria a los derechos políticos de las mujeres en América Latina" Atenea, International Idea, ONU Mujeres, UNDP.
- López Robles, Claudia V. (2008): "Mujeres y participación en los partidos políticos: entre instituciones débiles y exclusión por género", in Del dicho al hecho: manual de buenas practicas para la participación de mujeres en los partidos políticos latinoamericanos, Beatriz Llanos & Kristen Sample (eds.), Stockholm: International IDEA
- OHCHR. 2020. UN experts concerned by Guatemala’s proposed ‘backward step’ for women’s rights.
- Esarey, J., & Schwindt-Bayer, L. A. 2019. Estimating Causal Relationships Between Women’s Representation in Government and Corruption. Comparative Political Studies, 52(11), 1713–1741.
- Lundström F., & Morén, E. 2017. Empowering indigenous women in Guatemala -A qualitative study of the indigenous women's ability to empower themselves in the department of Sololá, Guatemala. Linköping University.
- International IDEA. 2002. Case Study: The Challenge of Women’s Political Participation in Guatemala.
- MacNabb, V. and the Central American Analysis Group. 1998. ‘Women's Role in Guatemala's Political Opening.’
- Guatemalan Parliament website