Gender Quotas Database

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Italy (Italian Republic)

Italy (Italian Republic) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 225 of 630 (36%) seats in the Camera dei Deputati / 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? Yes

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Apr 16, 2019

Single/Lower House

Camera dei Deputati / Chamber of Deputies

Total seats 630
Total Women 225
% Women 36%
Election Year 2018
Electoral System Parallel
Quota Type Legislated Candidate Quotas
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Constitution

'Any citizen of either sex is eligible for public offices and elected positions on equal terms, according to the conditions established by law. To this end, the Republic shall adopt specific measures to promote equal opportunities between women and men' (Constitution, article 51)

Electoral law

The electoral law of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic (Law No. 165/2017 article 3, 3.1) provides that, in the first place, under penalty of ineligibility, candidates shall be listed in the rolls of multi-member districts, for both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, according to an alternating gender order. At the same time, the provisions for the election to the Chamber of Deputies state that out of the total number of candidacies submitted by each list or coalition list in single-member districts at a national level, none of the two genders shall be represented in a percentage exceeding 60 per cent. Furthermore, out of the total lists in multi-member districts presented by each list at a national level, none of the two genders shall be represented as leading candidate in a percentage exceeding 60 per cent. The National Central Office ensures compliance with such provisions.  

Legal sanctions for non-compliance No data available
Rank order/placement rules No data available
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No

direct public funding has been reprealed in 2014. (see Q. 31 for other provisions adressing gender equality)


See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? Yes, funds earmarked for gender activities

Political parties must spend 10 per cent of the contribution they receive through the mechanism of tax deduction (see Q. 29) in activities aimed at fostering women' participation in politics .


See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Upper House

Senato della Repubblica / Senate

Total seats 321
Total Women 110
% Women 34%
Election Year 2018
Electoral System
Quota Type Legislated Candidate Quotas>
Election details IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Electoral law

The internal succession of the lists in the multi-member constituencies, both of the Chamber and of the Senate, candidates must be placed according to an alternate order of gender  (Law no. 165/2017 , article 3).  In the Senate the same forecasts are established (as in the Chamber of Deputies) at the regional level and it is up to the Regional Electoral Office to ensure compliance with the same.

Legal sanctions for non-compliance No data available
Rank order/placement rules No data available

Quota at the Sub-National Level

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

‘Regional laws have to remove all obstacles which prevent the full equality of men and women in social, cultural, and economic life, and promote equal access for men and women to elective offices’ (Article 117, paragraph 7, Federal Constitution of Italy).

Electoral law Following the constitutional reform in 2003, 12 of Italy’s 20 regions have adopted gender quotas in their regional laws governing electoral processes. Regional quotas are provided for in the following regions: Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania, Friuli VG, Lazio, Marche, Puglia, Sicily, Trento, Tuscany, Umbria and Val d’aoste.
Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law

Some regional laws provide sanctions for non compliance with the respective quota regulations set out in their laws. The electoral laws of Calabria, Friuli V.G., Marche, Trento, and Tuscany include sanctions such as rejection of lists by electoral bodies, while the laws of Lazio, Umbria and Puglia provide financial sanctions

Rank order/placement rules Electoral law

The laws of Sicili, Tuscany and Friuli VG provide for alternation of female and male candidates on candidate lists

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
Democratic Party Partito Democratico [PD] PD has a 50 percent quota for women, placed with strict alternation on electoral lists. (Party statutes 2008, article 19)

* 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

The new electoral law (Law 165/2017) include several provisions to promote the representation of women in both the Parliament and the Senate (see in boxes above).

This law amended the previous law, Law. 52/2015, an electoral discipline for the Chamber of Deputies which exceeded the previous discipline in force since 2005. The electoral system for the Chamber of Deputies from 2015, which was never applied in an electoral competition as a new electoral reform was approved in 2017 (Law No. 165/2017) was based on, among other elements the introduction of forecasts to promote equal opportunities between women and men in access to elective office. In particular, the 2015 law specificed that candidates must be presented - on each list - in alternate order by gender; at the same time, the leaders of the same sex can not be more than 60 percent of the total in each circumscription.

Constitutional reforms in 2003 provided an ‘open window’ policy on gender quotas by stating that ‘citizens of one or the other sex are eligible for public office and for elective positions under equal conditions, according to the rules established by law. To this end, the Republic adopts specific measures in order to promote equal chances for men and women’ (Article 51 of the Constitution).

The Law on Public Financing For Political Parties seeks to promote the active participation of women in politics. With this aim, every party is allotted a quota equal to at least 5 per cent of electoral reimbursements received for initiatives oriented to such an objective.

Prior to the 2003 Constitution, Italy had a gender quota for elections to the Lower House (in 1994) but the provision was declared unconstitutional in 1995. Quotas were also in use for the 1999 elections to the European Parliament and for the 1995 municipal and provincial elections. The legislated quotas have recently been re-introduced for the European Parliament elections.

Sources

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