Gender Quotas Database

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Austria (Republic of Austria)

Austria (Republic of Austria) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 68 of 183 (37%) seats in the Nationalrat / National Council are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? No
  • For the Upper House? No
  • For the Sub-National Level? No

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? Yes

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Apr 16, 2019

Single/Lower House

Nationalrat / National Council

Total seats 183
Total Women 68
% Women 37%
Election Year 2017
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
The Greens-Green Alternative Die Grünen-Die Grünen Alternativen [GA] GA has a 50 per cent quota for women on party lists (1993).
Austrian People's party Österreichische Volkspartei [ÖVP] ÖVP has a 33.3 per cent quota for women on party lists (1995).
Social Democratic Party of Austria Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs [SPÖ] SPÖ has a 40 per cent quota for women on party lists (1985).

* 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

Gender quotas are not manifested in Austrian law, however a number of political parties have internal policies on gender quotas.  The Socialist Party (SPÖ) were the first ones to adopt a 25 % women’s quota for national elections candidacies in 1985, which in 1993 rose to 40 %. The Greens adopted a 50-50 % split between women and men in 1990, and in 1995 the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) adopted a quota where women are to make up at least a third, 33,3 %. There are also parties who are ideologically opposed to gender quotas, there among The Freedom Party (FPÖ).

The 2017 parliamentary elections saw a slight increase of the previous number of women, increasing with 1,1 %. 

Sources

Additional reading

  • Köpl, R. 2005. ‘Gendering political representation: debates and controversies in Austria’, in Lovenduski, J. et al (eds) State Feminism and Political Representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 20-40.
  • Caul, Miki. 2001. ‘Political Parties and the Adoption of Candidate Gender Quotas: A Cross National analysis’. Journal of Politics. 63(4) pp. 1214-1229.
  • Steininger, Barbara. 2000. ‘Representation of Women in the Austrian Political System 1945-1998: From a Token Female Politician Towards an Equal Ratio?’ Women and Politics. 21, (2). pp. 81-106.
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1997. Participation of Women in Political Life. Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union.
  • Austrian Parliament website, www.parlament.gv.at

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