Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Croatia (Republic of Croatia)

Croatia (Republic of Croatia) has a Unicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas and legislated quotas for the single/lower house. 48 of 151 (32%) seats in the Hrvatski Sabor / Croatian Parliament are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Unicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Sub-National Level? No

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? Yes

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Feb 9, 2022

Single/Lower House

Hrvatski Sabor / Croatian Parliament

Total seats 151
Total Women 48
% Women 32%
Election Year 2020
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type Legislated Candidate Quotas
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Constitution  
Electoral law

Article 12.3 states: if “one sex is substantially [under-represented] within the meaning of paragraph 2 of this Article if it accounts for less than 40% of representatives in political and public decision-making bodies” (The Act on Gender Equality, 2008).
Further, “When drawing up and proposing lists of candidates for the election of representatives to the Croatian Parliament…political parties and other authorised entities submitting such lists shall observe the principle of gender equality and seek to achieve the balance in terms of the representation of women and men on such election lists pursuant to the provision of Article 12 of this Act” (Article 15 (1), The Act on Gender Equality, 2008).

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Yes

“Article 35 Political parties and other entities authorised to propose lists of candidates who… do not comply with the principle of gender equality that is laid down in Article 15 of this Act and who do not seek to achieve a balance in terms of representation of women and men on election lists pursuant to Article 12 of this Act shall be punished for a violation with a fine of HRK 50,000.00 in case of elections of members to the Croatian Parliament…” (The Act on Gender Equality, 2008).

Rank order/placement rules Yes None
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? Yes

For each elected MP or member of the representative body of a local and regional self-government unit who belongs to an under-represented gender, political parties shall also be entitled to a bonus of 10% of the amount allocated for each MP or member of a representative body of such local and regional self-government

See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
Social Democratic Party Socijaldemokratska Partija Hrvatske [SDP] In 1996 SDP introduced a voluntary party quota of 40 percent. In 2000 the party adopted a formal 40% quota for men and women on electoral lists, but no rank-order rules.

* 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.

Additional Information

After the implementation of the law in 2008, a gradual increase of representation should be achieved within the next three regular elections. In terms of the parliamentary elections of 2011, (35% of women were on the ballots), however, only 24% of women were elected to seats in parliament, up from 20% in the previous elections. Therefore, according to Article 15(2) the gradual increase, should be achieved by the 2020 elections.

Political Parties: incentivized recruitment on the local and regional level of under-represented gender.  According to Article 6 , “For each elected deputy or member of the representative body of a local and regional governmental unit who belongs to an under-represented gender, political parties shall also be entitled to a bonus of 10% of the amount allocated for each deputy or member of the representative body of such local and regional governmental unit, as specified in Article 5(1) of this Act.”

“Following the formation of the government, the percentage of women in parliament reached the 30% mark. A legislated candidate quota (40%) was introduced in 2008. It was subsequently loosened to replace sanctions with financial incentives. The decision to revise the sanctions reflects a 2015 Constitutional Court decision which states that the disqualification of incompliant lists would be disproportionate given that the Law on Gender Equality provides for a fine. In 2020, thirty-nine party candidate lists (20%) failed to respect the quota, including the governing party, resulting in fewer women candidates overall and fewer women at the head of the lists” (Inter-Parlamentary Union 2021, p. 9)





Additional reading

  • See the latest updates on Croatia on iKNOW Politics
  • Antic, M. 2003. ‘Factors Influencing Women's Presence in Slovene Parliament,’ in Matland, R. and Montgomery, K. (eds) Women's Access to Power in Post Communist Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Stability Pact Gender Task Force (SPGTF). 2002. ‘Building National Gender Equality Mechanisms in South East Europe – Women's Use of the State’.
  • Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation. 2002: ‘Croatia’ in Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). A Compilation of NGO Reports from Balkan Countries. pp.146-173.
  • Antic, M. 2001. ‘Women in Politics in Slovenia's New Democracy: Why so few?’, in Hans-Dieter Klingemann and Charles L. Taylor (eds). Elections in Slovenia, 1990-1997: Analyses, Documents and Data, Series Founding Elections in Eastern Europe. Edition Sigma, Berlin: Rainer Bohn Verlag.
  • Woodward, A. 2001. ‘Women Are Doing It: Building a Gender Balanced Democracy Using Sticks, Carrots and Kisses’. Stability Pact Gender Task Force Regional Meeting, Slovenia (SPGTF).
  • Antic, M. 1999. ‘Slovene Political Parties and Their Influence on the Electoral Prospects of Women,’  Corrin, C. (ed.). Gender and Identity in Central and Eastern Europe. Frank Cass Publishers. pp. 7- 29.
  • Antic, M. 1998. ‘Women in Parliament in Slovenia, Versus Losers of the “Wende” - Winners of the EU?’. ‘Participation of Women: Chances and effects of the transformation process’, Politik und Forum. Vienna. pp. 35-44.
  • Croatian Parliament,

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