Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Afghanistan (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan)

Afghanistan (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) has a Bicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and at the sub-national level. 67 of 248 (27%) seats in the Wolesi Jirga / House of the People 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? No
  • For the Sub-National Level? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Sep 21, 2022

Single/Lower House

Wolesi Jirga / House of the People

Total seats 248
Total Women 67
% Women 27%
Election Year 2018
Electoral System SNTV
Quota Type Reserved seats
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution

According to Article 83 of the 2004 Constitution, 68 of the 249 total seats (27%) in the Lower House (Wolesi Jirga) are reserved for women, comprising at least 2 women for each of the 34 provinces of the country.

Electoral law

"The Commission, for the purpose of the minimum number of female candidates that shall be elected from each province, prepares procedures and a formula that is based on the population of each province so that to meet the requirements of article 83 of the Constitution of Afghanistan that is the number of elected female candidates shall be at least twice the number of the current provinces" meaning 68 reserved seats for women in the lower house (Electoral Law 2016, Article 51(1)).

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law

"In case there are not sufficient number of women on the candidate’s list to occupy the seat or seats allocated to women, the Commission shallundertake measures in accordance with the procedure mentioned in clause (1) of this article, to ensure that the seats allocated to women do not remain vacant" (Electoral Law 2016 Article 51: (2)).

Rank order/placement rules Electoral law

"Candidates who receive the highest number of valid votes in each electoral constituency,are allocated seats as per the formula mentioned in clause (1)" (Electoral Law 2016 Article 51(2))


Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No

There is no provision on this matter in the relevant laws.

See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No

There is no provision on this matter in the relevant laws.

See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Quota at the Sub-National Level

  • Quota type: Reserved seats
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution  
Electoral law

At least 25 % of the seats in each Provincial, District and Village Council shall be allocated to female candidates (Article 58(2), 61(2), 64(2)).

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

Additional Information

The first time women voted in Afghanistan was in 1965  but, since 2001, Afghan women have the right to vote and stand but also a quota system reserving them seats. 

In the 2005 elections, the voters cast their ballots for individual candidates, sometimes on candidate lists which included 400 names. The Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB), which was co-managed by the United Nations and the Afghan Government to administer the elections, decided the order of candidates on electoral lists by a ballot lottery, so that the sequencing would not be biased toward any candidate, and so that every elected representative was elected by virtue of the number of votes as opposed to a favourable placement on the party list (JEMB 2005:12).

According to the Afghanistan Analyst Network, in 2018, as happened in 2010, about 400 women out of a total of about 2500 candidates. However, women still face difficulties to be part of the political life.




United States Library of Congress, ‘Afghanistan: President Approves New Election Law’, Global Legal Monitor (8 August 2013);

United States Institute of Peace, 'Learning from the 2010 Afghan election'



Additional reading

Additional reading

Asia | Global

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