Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Switzerland (Swiss Confederation)

Switzerland (Swiss Confederation) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 83 of 200 (42%) seats in the Nationalrat - conseil national - consiglio nazionale - 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: Sep 22, 2020

Single/Lower House

Nationalrat - conseil national - consiglio nazionale - national council

Total seats 200
Total Women 83
% Women 42%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

Upper House

Ständerat - Conseil des Etats - Consiglio degli Stati / Council of States

Total seats 46
Total Women 12
% Women 26%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System
Quota Type No legislated>
Election details IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: No legislated Electoral law  
Legal sanctions for non-compliance No data available
Rank order/placement rules No data available

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz [SPS/PSS] The party has a 40 percent quota for women on party lists.

* 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

Constitutional quota regulations were proposed in 1996 and 2000, but not passed.

A federal popular initiative was proposed in 1996 to amend the constitution in order to promote "the equitable representation of women in federal bodies". The proposals included various provisions for the different federal authorities, the National Council, the Council of States, The Federal Council and the Federal Tribunal.

For the National Council, it was proposed that the difference between the number of women and men representing each canton could not be greater than one. For the Council of States, it was proposed that each canton elects two MPs, one women and one man. The Federal Council, composed of seven members, would have at least three women.



Additional reading

  • Sgier, Lea. 2001. ‘Analysing Gender Quota Policies: France and Switzerland.’ Paper presented at the ECPR General Conference, University of Kent at Canterbury, Kent, UK, September 6-8.
  • Wuthrich, Agnès. 2000. ‘Le principe des quotas féminins est-il compatible avec la démocratie suisse?’ Temps. 21 February.
  • Wisler, D. 1999. ‘Parité politique: la diffusion d’un principe’, Swiss Political Science
    Review, 5, 1: 110–14.
  • Arioli, Kathrin. 1998. ‘Die Schweizerische Debatte um die Einführung von Frauenquoten in der Politik’ (The Swiss Debate on Introducing Quotas for Women in Politics). Swiss Political Science Review. 4, no. 2. pp. 131-137.
  • Swiss Parliament website,  

Additional reading

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