Gender Quotas Database

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Colombia (Republic of Colombia)

Colombia (Republic of Colombia) has a Bicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and upper house and at the sub-national level. 31 of 169 (18%) seats in the Cámara de Representantes / House of Representatives 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? Yes
  • For the Sub-National Level? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: May 18, 2020

Single/Lower House

Cámara de Representantes / House of Representatives

Total seats 169
Total Women 31
% Women 18%
Election Year 2018
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type Legislated Candidate Quotas
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Constitution  
Electoral law

For lists submitted for election of 5 or more seats, at least 30% of candidates of each gender must be included (Law 1475 of 2011, Article 28.1). Political parties decide themselves whether their lists shall be open or closed.

Political funding legislation

5% of the total state funding for the political parties will be equally distributed to political parties and movements in proportion to the number of women representatives elected from their lists into publicly elected offices (Article 17.6).

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law

Candidate lists that do not comply with the legal requirements, including the gender quota requirement, shall be rejected (Article 32).
Rank order/placement rules No None
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? Yes

A share of the public funding is to be distributed according to the number of elected women.


See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? Yes, funds earmarked for gender activities

At least 15% of the total of public funds assigned to political parties for regular assistance must be used for activities of its centers of thought, political and electoral training courses, and for the effective inclusion of women, youth and ethnic minorities in the political process.


See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Upper House

Senado de la República / Senate

Total seats 106
Total Women 23
% Women 22%
Election Year 2018
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type Legislated Candidate Quotas>
Election details IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Electoral law

For lists submitted for election of 5 or more seats, at least 30% of candidates of each gender must be included (Law 1475 of 2011, Article 28.1). Political parties decide themselves whether their lists shall be open or closed.

Political funding legislation 5% of the total state funding for the political parties will be equally distributed to political parties and movements in proportion to the number of women elected in public offices (Article 17 (6)).
Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law Candidate lists that do not comply with the legal requirements, including the gender quota requirement, shall be rejected (Article 32).
Rank order/placement rules No None

Quota at the Sub-National Level

  • Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Constitution  
Electoral law

For lists submitted for election of 5 or more seats, at least 30 % of candidates of each gender must be included (Law 1475 of 2011, Article 28.1).

Political funding legislation 5% of the total state funding for the political parties will be equally distributed to political parties and movements in proportion to the number of women elected in public offices (Article 17 (6)).
Legal sanctions for non-compliance Yes Candidate lists that do not comply with the legal requirements, including gender quota requirement, shall be rejected (Article 32).
Rank order/placement rules No None

Additional Information

In addition to the electoral law of 2011 which introduced the 30% minimum gender quota for candidate lists for publicly-elected offices, Colombian legislation recognizes the right of women to hold at least 30% of the highest public decision-making positions and of other public decision-making levels subject to appointment and removal, with powers of management and direction in designing, planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring the actions and policies of the state. Exceptions to the law apply to the judiciary, administrative or other positions in which the acceptance, permanence and promotion are based solely on merit (Law 581/2000). The Legislative Act No. 1 of 2003 removed the constitutional barriers that had served as the basis for the Constitutional Court to declare the initial legislation on candidate quotas unconstitutional.

The gender quota provisions introduced by the electoral law of 2011 were implemented for the first time at the local government elections held on 30 October 2011. One month before the elections, 217 candidate lists had been rejected by the electoral administration for failing to comply with the gender quota. The electoral administration extended the deadline for submission of candidate lists in order to give political parties a chance to meet the quota requirements. As a result of the implementation of the gender quota, the participation of women candidates has significantly increased from just under 20% of the total number of candidates in the 2007 local elections, to just over 35% in 2011.

 

Sources

LEGAL SOURCES:

 

OTHER SOURCES:

Additional reading

  • Misión de Observación Electoral (2014): " Elecciones y Medios de Comunicación. Un zoom a las mujeres en la agenda política. Seguimiento a Medios. Elecciones Congreso y Presidencia 2014". Bogotá: MOE in collaboration with Sweden and USAID.
  • IACHR, 2018. "IACHR Salutes Gender Parity in the Cabinet of Ministers in Colombia", Organization of American States (OAS), no. 3-4. http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2018/180.asp (Published 13 August 2018, Accessed 26 September 2018)
  • Htun, Mala N. 2002., Mujeres y poder politico en Latino america, in International IDEA, Mujeres en el Parlamento. Ms all de los numeros, Stockholm: International IDEA, pp. 19-44.
  • Htun, Mala N. and Mark P. Jones. 2002. "Engendering the Right to Participate in Decision-Making: Electoral Quotas and Women''s Leadership in Latin America." Nikki Craske and Maxine Molyneux(ed.) Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America. New York: Palgrave. pp. 32-56.
  • Peschard, Jacqueline. 2002. ‘El sistema de cuotas en América Latina. Panorama general,’ in International IDEA. Mujeres en el Parlamento. Más allá de los números, Stockholm: International IDEA, pp. 173-186.
  • Nivon, María de los Angeles. 2001. ‘En Colombia, el gobierno aún no permite mayor presencia de las mujeres en la política’ (In Colombia, the government still does not permit a greater presence of women in politics)
  • Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas. 2001. Women and Power in the Americas: A Report Card. Washington: Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas.
  • Jaramillo, Isabel C. 2000. Legal Reform, Feminism, and Patriarchy in Colombia: The Case of the Law of Quotas for Women in High-Decision Making Positions Within the Executive Branch. L.L.M. Thesis, Harvard Law School, May 10.
  • Suleydy Gaitán, Sol. 1998. ‘Colombia: Desarrollos en Colombia frente a la Plataforma de Acción Mundial.’ Silvia Vega Ugalde (ed.) Acceso de las mujeres a la toma de decisiones en los países andinos. Quito: Coalición Política de Mujeres Andinas. pp. 147-182.
  • Gutierrez, Estrella. 1997. ‘Women-Latam: Andean Women Flex Their Political Muscle.’ Interpress Service, September 23.

Additional reading

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