Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Iraq (Republic of Iraq)

Iraq (Republic of Iraq) has a Unicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and at the sub-national level. 95 of 329 (29%) seats in the Council of Representatives of Iraq 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? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Mar 10, 2022

Single/Lower House

Council of Representatives of Iraq

Total seats 329
Total Women 95
% Women 29%
Election Year 2021
Electoral System SNTV
Quota Type Reserved seats
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution According to Article 49.4 of the Constitution: ‘The elections law shall aim to achieve a percentage of representation for women of not less than one-quarter of the members of the Council of Representatives.’
Electoral law

According to Article 3 (3) of Law No. 26 (2009) amending the 2005 Electoral Law: ‘The proportion of women shall not be less than one quarter of the winners’.  Further, Regulation no. 21, Seat Allocation (2010), states: 'This regulation shall guarantee achieving [a] total number of female winners countrywide not less than 25% (82 women).' (
'Achievement of this quota is ensured through a complex set of procedures set out in this regulation, which provides for rules for determining the number of women each governorate will have to elect.’            

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law If the number of elected women is not sufficient to satisfy the quota criteria, 25% of the seats are reserved for women through a set of procedures by which each governorate determines the number of women to be included in the final list of winners, including those who gained most votes among other female candidates but did not win sufficient votes to win seats.
Rank order/placement rules Electoral law

The Electoral Law, Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 96 - Section 4 (3) - states: 

‘No fewer that 1 out of the first 3 candidates on the list must be a woman, no fewer than 2 out of the first 6 candidates on the list must be a woman and so forth until the end of the list.’
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No data  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No data  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Quota at the Sub-National Level

  • Quota type: Reserved seats
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution  
Electoral law

According to article 13 (2) of law no. 36 of 2008 on the Elections of the provincial, districts, and sub-districts councils:

‘The candidate who secures the highest number of votes within the list shall be deemed the winner and so on for the rest of candidates and to have a woman at the end of all three winners regardless of men winners.’

Legal sanctions for non-compliance N/A Not applicable
Rank order/placement rules N/A Not applicable

Additional Information

In the 2010 elections, only 5 of the 86 female lawmakers actually obtained enough votes to win seats without the quota regulation. The remaining 81 women, although not elected directly, were included in the final seat allocation based on the quota requirements.


In the 2018 elections, nearly 2600 women ran for office according to several news articles. The candidacy of some women was contriversial and norm breaking from some perspectives, approaching a more 'women-conscious' society.  The gender quota of a miminum 25 % of women was reached. 

Additional reading

  • Chirillo, G. & Roddey C. 2019. "Gender Analysis of Iraq’s Electoral and Political Process", International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Published October 2019.
  • Scott, K. & Saifi, Z. 2018. "Iraq Elections: What role will gender quotas play?", CNN, Published 11 May 2018, Accessed 26 September 2018
  • Fowler, C. 2018 "As More Women Run For Office In Iraq, Are Gender Quotas Producing Their Expected Result?", Our Secure Future: Women make the difference, Published 4 June 2018
  • Iraq Education and Training News. March 31 2018. Gender Mainstreaming in Iraq's Elections. [Last Accessed 2022-03-14]
  • Ballington, J. & Dahlerup, D. 2006. 'Gender quotas in post-conflict states: East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq', in Dahlerup, D. Women, Quotas and Politics, London/New York: Routledge, pp. 249-258.
  • Coalition Provisional Authority. Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the transitional period.
  • Dahlerup, D. & Nordlund, A. 2004. ‘Gender Quotas: A key to Equality? A Case Study of Iraq and Afghanistan’, European Political Science, 3, 3: 91–8.
  • Nordlund, A. 2004. ‘Demands for Electoral Gender Quotas in Afghanistan and Iraq’, The Research Program on Gender Quotas, Working Paper Series 2004: 2, Stockholm University: Department of Political Science.
  • Samuels, K. & Einsiedel, S.v. 2004. The Future of UN State-Building: Strategic and Operational Challenges and the Legacy of Iraq. Policy Report, New York: International Peace Institute.
  • Women for a Free Iraq, 2003. ‘The heartland of Iraq Womens Conference’, Preliminary Report, Hilla: University of Babylon.
  • Iraq Parliament website,

Additional reading

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