Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Sweden (Kingdom of Sweden)

Sweden (Kingdom of Sweden) has a Unicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 162 of 349 (46%) seats in the Riksdagen / Parliament 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?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Jan 24, 2023

Single/Lower House

Riksdagen / Parliament

Total seats 349
Total Women 162
% Women 46%
Election Year 2022
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
Social Democratic Party Socialdemokraterna [S] Party quotas: Zipper system (one sex alternates the other on party lists) (1993). Internal quotas since 1978
Left Party Vänsterpartiet [V] Party quotas: A 50% minimum quota for women on party lists (1993). First party quota rule introduced in 1987. Internal quotas since 1978.
Green Party Miljöpartiet de Gröna [MP] Party quota: A 50 % gender quota on party lists, plus or minus one person (1997). First party quota rule introduced in 1987.Internal quotas since 1981.
Moderate Party Moderaterna [M] Party quotas: Two women and two men shall be placed on the top four positions on the party list for the election to the European Parliament in 2009.

* 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

In 1972 the Liberal Party introduced a policy of a minimum of 40 percent of either sex in internal boards and Committees. This recommendation was in 1984 extended to include alternated lists at general election (where one sex alternates the other on party ballots).

In 1987 the Christian Democratic Party introduced a 40 percent gender neutral recommendation regarding electoral ballots.

The Conservative Party and the Centre Party both decided on equal representation targets, in 1993 and 1996 respectively, but gave nomination committees the final word concerning the lists of candidates.


The Green Party have a quota principal or "equality system", of having two party leaders (språkrör) to "ensure equality" (Miljöpartiet).



Additional reading

  • See the latest updates on Sweden on iKNOW Politics
  • Sainsbury, D. 2005. "Party feminism, state feminism and women''s representation in Sweden", in Lovenduski, J. et al (eds) State Feminism and Political Representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 195-215.
  • Sainsbury, D. 2004. ‘Women’s Political Representation in Sweden: Discursive Politics and Institutional Presence’, Scandinavian Political Studies, 27, 1: 65–87.
  • Freidenvall, L. 2003. ‘Women’s political representation and gender quotas – the Swedish case.’ The Research Program on Gender Quotas . Working Paper Series 2003: 3, Stockholm University: Department of Political Science.
  • de los Reyes, P., Molina, I. and Mulinari, D. (eds) 2002. Maktens (o)lika förklädnader:
    kön, klass och etnicitet i det postkoloniala Sverige: en festskrift till Wuokko Knocke,
    Stockholm: Atlas.
  • Pincus, I. 2002. The Politics of Gender Equality Policy, PhD dissertation, Örebro University: Department of Political Science.
  • Wängnerud, L., 2001. ‘Kvinnors röst: En kamp mellan partier’. Rösträtten 80 år. Stockholm: Justitiedepartementet
  • Hirdman, Y. 2001. Genus – om det stabilas föränderliga former, Malmö: Liber.
  • Bergqvist, C. (ed.) 1999. Equal Democracies? Gender and Politics in the Nordic Countries. Oslo: Scandinavian Universities and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
  • Christensen, A. 1999. ‘Kvinder i de politiske partier’ Christina Bergquist et al. Likestilte demokratier? Kjönn og politikk i Norden. Oslo: Universitetsförlaget
  • Wängnerud, L. 1998. Politikens andra sida. Om kvinnorepresentation i Sveriges riksdag, PhD dissertation, Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet.
  • Karlsson, G. 1996. Från Broderskap till Systerskap. Lund: Arkiv Förlag
  • Bacchi, C.L. 1996. Politics of Affirmative Actions. Women, Equality and Category Politics. London: Sage.
  • Sainsbury, D. 1993. ‘The Politics of Increased Women’s Representation: The Swedish Case’, in J. Lovenduski and P. Norris (eds) Gender and Party Politics, Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 263–90.
  • Hirdman, Y. 1990. ‘Genussystemet’, in Demokrati och makt i Sverige, SOU 1990: 44,
    Stockholm: Statens offentliga utredningar, pp. 73–116.
  • SOU 1987:19. Varannan Damernas: Slutbetänkande från utredningen om kvinnorepresentation
  • Wallin, G. et al. 1981. Kommunalpolitikerna. Del 1 och 2. Ds Kn 1981: 17–18.
  • Swedish Parliament website,

Additional reading

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