Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Panama (Republic of Panama)

Panama (Republic of Panama) has a Unicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house. 19 of 71 (27%) seats in the Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly 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? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Jun 27, 2019

Single/Lower House

Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly

Total seats 71
Total Women 19
% Women 27%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System FPTP 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

According to article 239 of the Electoral Code of Panama (amended by Law 54, 2012, Article 6), nomination lists of political parties presented for primaries and internal elections should include 50% women. These lists should be certified by a representative of the women’s secretariats in political parties. If the level of women’s participation is less than the standard provided by this article, and this is attested by the women’s secretariat, the party can fill the vacant candidacies with male candidates.

Legal sanctions for non-compliance No None
Rank order/placement rules No None
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? Yes  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? Yes, other

It is an obligation to guarantee 50% participation of women. in internal eleccions.

See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Additional Information

The mandatory provision of 50 per cent female candidates applies to nomination lists for parties’ primaries and internal elections but not to the parties’ candidate lists in the national or sub-national elections. Furthermore, the regulation is weakened by the provision which allows parties to fill the vacant spots with male candidates. Before the introduction of the 50 per cent rule, the law mandated the requirement of a minimum 30 per cent women in nomination lists.



Additional reading

  • Htun, Mala N. 2002. ‘Mujeres y poder político en Latinoamérica,’ in International IDEA, Mujeres en el Parlamento. Más allá de los números, Stockholm: International IDEA, pp. 19-44.
  • Htun, Mala N. and Mark P. Jones. 2002. ‘Engendering the Right to Participate in Decision-Making: Electoral Quotas and Women's Leadership in Latin America.’ Nikki Craske and Maxine Molyneux(ed.) Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America. New York: Palgrave. pp. 32-56.
  • Peschard, Jacqueline. 2002. ‘El sistema de cuotas en América Latina. Panorama general,’ in International IDEA. Mujeres en el Parlamento. Más allá de los números, Stockholm: International IDEA, pp. 173-186.
  • Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas. 2001. Women and Power in the Americas: A Report Card. Washington: Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas.
  • Htun, Mala N. 1998. Women's Political Participation, Representation and Leadership in Latin America. Issue Brief, Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas.
  • Panama Parliament website,

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