Libya (Libya) has a Unicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and at the sub-national level. 28 of 170 (16%) seats in the Majlis Al-Nuwaab / House of Representatives 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?...
Last updated: Jan 19, 2023
Majlis Al-Nuwaab / House of Representatives
|Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas||Electoral law||
The General National Congress consists of 200 members, 120 of whom are elected by majority, based on a first-past-the-post system for single-member districts, where the winner is the candidate with the most votes. For multi-member districts, a single non-transferable vote system is adopted. The remaining 80 members are elected by proportional representation from closed electoral lists, presented by political entities in multi-member constituencies. According to Article 15 of the 2012 Law on the Election of the National General Congress, on the lists of candidates submitted by parties for the proportional representation contest, ‘candidates shall be arranged on the basis of alternation among male and female candidates, vertically and horizontally.
Lists that do not respect such principle shall not be accepted. The Commission shall publish samples showing the format of such lists and the method used to arrange the candidates within them'.
|Legal sanctions for non-compliance||Electoral law||Lists that do not respect the principle of alternation between male and female candidates shall not be accepted. (Article 15 (2))|
|Rank order/placement rules||Electoral law||‘Candidates are listed based on gender rotation, both horizontal and vertical.’ (Article 15 (1)).|
|Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates?||Not applicable||
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
Quota at the Sub-National Level
- Quota type: Reserved seats
|Quota type: Reserved seats||Electoral law||The 2013 Council of Ministers Decision (No. 161) on the Adoption of Principles and Procedures for Municipal Elections, introduces quota provisions for revolutionaries with special needs and women (Article 1 (20)), who shall be elected by majority vote (Article 46 (2)).|
|Legal sanctions for non-compliance||N/A||Not applicable|
|Rank order/placement rules||N/A||Not applicable|
The percentage of women is calculated from the current number of seats occupied in the parliament. The House of Representatives has 200 statutory seats.
The revised electoral system featuring gender parity principles was the first of its kind for Libya and proved to have a significant positive effect, resulting in a substantial increase in the number of women in the parliament. In particular, during the 2012 legislative elections, 545 women candidates were nominated by political parties, compared to 662 male candidates. However, only 85 women ran as individual candidates out of a total of 2,501. This very low number of individual women candidates confirmed the fact that when not obliged by law, the inclusion of women in party lists represented only 3 per cent of the total number of candidates running individually, whereas when the law required that women be placed vertically and horizontally on the party lists, they formed 45 per cent of the total number of party candidates. ‘When the political entities were running in more than one constituency, the horizontal gender alternation benefited women candidates. On the other hand, there was no impact on women's representation when the gender shift was applied vertically, if the party list gained only one seat in the respective constituency and women were not placed on top of the lists' (European Union Electoral Observation Mission 2012: 25). Three party lists running in only one constituency placed women candidates at the top.
At the sub-national level, the Council of Ministers recently adopted a decision providing for three different categories of candidates for municipal elections: general candidates, women candidates and former revolutionaries with special needs, all of whom should be elected by a majority system. However, the decision does not contain any specific provisions on the required percentage of women candidates or any other mechanisms to ensure that a certain percentage of women are eventually elected in Municipal Councils.
- Law no. 4 (2012) for Election of the National Congress
- Constitution of Lybia (rev. 2011) (English version)
- Carter Center, ‘General National Congress Elections in Libya’, Final Report, 7 July 2012,
- European Union Election Observation Mission, ‘Libya, Final Report, General National Congress Election, 7 July 2012’,
Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU Parline Libya
- See the latest updates on Libya on iKNOW Politics
- Ragrag, N. (April 27, 2021). Libyan women and political participation: Ten years since the revolution. Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. [Last accessed: 2021-11-11]
- Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa, & Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU. (2021). Inclusive participation in Libya's peacebuilding and political process - report from an informal discussion with Libyan women peacebuilders and leaders. [Discussion Report].
- Blunt, A. (April 24, 2020). Libyan Ministry of Culture approves decree for 30% gender quota. National Democratic Institute [NDI]. [Last accessed: 2021-11-11]
- El-Kikhia, R. (December 17, 2020). Women and youth are shaping Libya's political dialogue - but more progress is needed for inclusivity. [Policy Analysis]. Washington Institute for Near East Policy. [Last accessed: 2021-11-11]
- Lagdaf, S. & Zoubir, Y.H. (2018). The Struggle of the Women's Movements in Neo-patriarchal Libya. Oriente moderno 2018, 98(2). pp. 225-246.