Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Malawi (Republic of Malawi)

Malawi (Republic of Malawi) has a Unicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 44 of 192 (23%) seats in the National Assembly 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?...

  • No

Last updated: Apr 23, 2022

Single/Lower House

National Assembly

Total seats 192
Total Women 44
% Women 23%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System FPTP
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
United Democratic Front [UDF] The UDF aims to have 25 percent of its parliamentary seats held by women, according to the party constitution.
Malawi Congress Party [MCP] The MCP aims to allocate 33 percent of the seats to women at all levels of the party structure. Additionaly, according to the party Manifesto, MCP will 'ensure that women occupy 30 per cent or more of all decision, policy and managerial positions in the government' (MCP Manifesto of 2004, article 6.6a).

* 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

Malawi does not regulate any gender quotas for the Lower Camera or the Sub-National Level. Nonetheless, different political parties have developed voluntary quotas as United Democratic Front (which aims to have a 25 per cent of its parliamentary seats held by women or the Malawi Congress Party, which allocates 33 per cent of the seats to women at all the levels of the party structure.

The percentage of women is calculated from the current number of seats occupied in the parliament. The National Assembly has 193 statutory seats. 





Additional reading

  • Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), 2019, Malawi: Women's representation quotas
  • See the latest updates on Malawi on iKNOW Politics
  • Clayton, A., Robinson, A.L., Johnson, M.C. & Muriaas, R. (2020).[How] do voters discriminate against women candidates? Experimental and qualitative evidence from Malawi. Comparative Political Studies, 53(3-4). pp. 601-630.
  • Chr. Michelsen Institutte [CMI]. (2016). Women in politics in Malawi. [Ed. Amundsen I. & Kayuni H.]
  • O'Neil, T., Kanyongolo, N., Wales, J., & Mkandawire, M. W. (2016). Women and power. Representation and influence in Malawi's parliament.Overseas Development Institute [ODI].
  • Centre for Multiparty Democracy Malawi [CMDMW]. (2014). Women in politics. Newsletter (2).
  • Happy M. Kayuni & Ragnhild L. Muriaas (2014) Alternatives to gender quotas: electoral financing of women candidates in Malawi

Additional reading

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