Switzerland (Swiss Confederation) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 83 of 200 (42%) seats in the Bundesversammlung - Assemblée fédérale - Assemblea federale / Federal Assembly 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?...
Last updated: Apr 16, 2020
Ständerat - Conseil des Etats - Consiglio degli Stati / Council of States
|Quota Type||No legislated>|
|Election details||IPU Parline|
|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.
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.
- 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,