Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Botswana (Republic of Botswana)

Botswana (Republic of Botswana) has a Unicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 7 of 63 (11%) seats in the National Assembly 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?...

  • No

Last updated: Apr 5, 2022

Single/Lower House

National Assembly

Total seats 63
Total Women 7
% Women 11%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System FPTP
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
Botswana Congress Party [BCP] In 1999 the Botswana Congress Party introduced a 30 percent quota for women on electoral lists. The party has not always met this target. However, in the 2010 national congress elections the party managed to reach the 30 percent target.
Botswana National Front [BNF] In 1999 the Botswana National Front introduced a 30 percent quota for women on electoral lists. The party has not always met this target.

* 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

"Only 11 out of 210 parliamentary candidates were women in the 2019 election, representing 5% of the total number of candidates. This is a downward shift from 2014 when an already small number of candidates (17 of 192) were women, despite the fact that women represented 55% of registered voters. Ultimately only 3 out of the 57 elected members of parliament were women. No women were put forward as a presidential candidates. The 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), the continental legal framework on the promotion of democracy, free and fair elections and good governance, obliges member states to encourage full and active participation of women in the electoral process and ensure gender parity in representation at all levels, including legislatures. Similarly, the Maputo Protocol mandates member states to ensure increased and effective representation and participation of women at all levels of decision-making, including through affirmative action measures" (


Additional reading

  • See the latest updates on Botswana on iKNOW Politics
  • Mokomane, Z. (2006). Gender and elections in Botswana.
  • Botswana Parliament website,
  • Somolekae, G. 2005. 'Political Parties in Botswana'. EISA Research Report.
  • Bauer, G. and Burnet, J. E., 2013, "Gender Quotas, Democracy and Women’s Representation in Africa: Some Insights from Democratic Botswana and Autocratic Rwanda". Anthropology Faculty Publications
  • Bauer, G. 2010. “Cows Will Lead the Herd into a Precipice”: Where Are the Women MPs in Botswana? Botswana Notes and Records, 42, 56–70. Link here
  • Frankson, J.R. (ed). 2001. The First Step: Getting in the Door, New York: WEDO.
  • Kethusegile, B. et al. 2000. Beyond Inequalities: Women in Southern Africa. Harare: SARDC.
  • Lowe-Morna, C. 2000. ‘Strategies for Increasing Women's Participation in Politics.’Paper presented to the Fifth Meeting of Commonwealth Ministers Responsible for Women's Affairs.
  • Mashingaidze, D. 1999. ‘A Quota System for Women?’ WomanPlus6. No. 3: 20.
  • Somolekae, G. 1998. The Various Systems of Party Primary Elections in Botswana. Paper presented to the National Conference on Women Preparing to Stand for the Primaries in Botswana, Botswana.  
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1997. Democracy Still in the Making: A World Comparative Study, Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Additional reading

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