Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Rwanda (Republic of Rwanda)

Rwanda (Republic of Rwanda) has a Bicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and upper house and at the sub-national level. 49 of 80 (61%) seats in the Chambre des Députés / Chamber of Deputies are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Upper House? Yes
  • For the Sub-National Level? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: May 3, 2022

Single/Lower House

Chambre des Députés / Chamber of Deputies

Total seats 80
Total Women 49
% Women 61%
Election Year 2018
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type Reserved seats
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution ‘The State of Rwanda commits itself that women are granted at least 30 per cent of posts in decision making organs’ (Constitution, Article 9 [4]). The 80 members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected as follows: 53 members elected by direct universal suffrage through a secret ballot using closed list proportional representation, of which at least 30% must be seats reserved for women; 24 women (2 elected from each province and from the city of Kigali by an electoral college with a women-only ballot); 2 members elected by the National Youth Council; and 1 member elected by the Federation of the Associations of the Disabled (Constitution, Article 76).
Electoral law The election of the 24 women deputies from across the country’s provinces is provided for in the following manner: ‘Twenty four (24) female Deputies shall be elected by specific organs in accordance with national administrative entities. A Presidential Order shall determine a national administrative entity and the number of women Deputies to be elected at each entity. At each entity through which election has been conducted, candidates who obtain more votes shall be considered as elected’ (Article 109 of Organic Law 03/2010/OL of 18 June 2010 governing presidential and legislative elections).
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? No  
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

Upper House

Sénat / Senate

Total seats 26
Total Women 9
% Women 35%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System Indirectly elected and appointed.
Quota Type Reserved seats>
Election details IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution

‘The State of Rwanda commits itself that women are granted at least 30 per cent of posts in decision making organs’ (Constitution, Article 9 [4]). The total of 26 members of the Senate are either indirectly elected or appointed. Article 82 of the Constitution (2005) states that ‘within the 26 members in the senate at least thirty per cent (30%) should be women’. (Constitution, Article 82).

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

Quota at the Sub-National Level

  • Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Constitution  
Electoral law

‘At every Sector, one female member and one male member of Council shall be elected through direct and secret ballot.’ (Article 155 of Law 27/2010 of 19/06/2010 on elections)

In addition, '... at least thirty per cent (30%) of all District Council members shall be women and shall be elected through indirect and secret ballot as well as by the members of the Council Bureau of Sectors’ (Article 156).

Political party legislation:

‘Each political organization shall ensure that at least thirty per cent (30%) of posts that are subjected to elections are occupied by women’ (Article 5, Organic Law 16/2003 of 27/06/2003 governing political organizations and politicians as amended by Organic Law 19/2007 of 04/05/2007).

Legal sanctions for non-compliance No None
Rank order/placement rules No None

Additional Information

Rwanda adopted a new Constitution in 2003. In addition to constituting a mandatory minimum 30 per cent gender quota in all decision-making bodies, the Constitution explicitly recognizes the responsibility of political organizations to ‘participate in the education of citizens on politics based on democracy and elections and operate in such a manner as to ensure that women and men have equal access to elective offices’ (Article 52, Constitution, Amendment 2 of 8 December 2005).

In 2007, the Law on Political Organizations and Politicians was amended, establishing that party lists for all elective offices must contain at least 30 per cent women candidates. However, the law does not contain any provisions regarding the rank order of women candidates. Following this amendment and in combination with the 24 reserved seats for women, the Rwandan Chamber of Deputies reached a worldwide record in the 2008 legislative elections, as 56.25 per cent of the elected deputies were women. This positive record was repeated in the 2013 legislative elections, when women constituted 63.75 per cent of the total number of elected deputies.

Rwanda’s remarkable progress in increasing women’s political participation and representation in the post- genocide period is largely credited to the introduction of these electoral special measures, as well as other legal acts such as the law for the prohibition of all forms of discrimination and sectarianism, and the Code of Conduct of Political Organizations and Their Members (adopted by the National Consultative Forum of Political Organizations in Rwanda in 2005). The code promotes rules and regulations, discipline and integrity, and governs all political activities in Rwanda.




Additional reading

  • See the latest updates on Rwanda on iKNOW Politics
  • UN Women. (August 13, 2018). Revisiting Rwanda five years after record-breaking parliamentary elections.
  • Powley, E. (2008). Defending Children's Rights: The Legislative Priorities of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians, The Initiative for Inclusive Security, A Program of Hunt Alternatives Fund
  • Wallace, C., Haerpfer, C. & Abbott, P. (2008). Women in Rwandan politics and society. doi:10.2753/IJS0020-7659380406
  • Hansson, F. (2007). Constitution-Making Explanations to Gender Quotas. A Case Study of the Introduction of Reserved Seats for Women in the Rwandan Parliament. Master Thesis, Uppsala University.
  • Longman, T. (2006). Rwanda: Achieving equality or serving an authoritarian state? in G. Bauer and H. E. Briton (eds.), Women in African Parliaments. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers.
  • Schwartz, H. (2004). Women's representation in the Rwandan Parliament. Master Thesis, Dept. of Political Science, Gothenburg University.
  • Powley, E. (2003). Strengthening Governance: The Role of Women in Rwanda’s Transition, paper presented at the Women Waging Peace Policy Commission. [September 2003]

Additional reading

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