The level of political representation of women in different legislative bodies around the world varies greatly, standing at 16.9 percent in the world’s legislatures in 2006 on average.
The uneven political playing field on which women and men compete has led to a number of reforms—primarily quotas or other positive action strategies—designed to safeguard the presence of women in parliament.
Governments and political parties have experimented with different types of quotas, with mixed results. Electoral quotas may be constitutionally or legislatively mandated or else adopted voluntarily by political parties. They usually set a target or minimum threshold for women, and may apply to the number of women candidates proposed by a party for election, or they may take the form of reserved seats in the legislature.
International IDEA convened a series of regional workshops to gather qualitative data. Researchers and practitioners were brought together to allow country- and region-specific information on quota implementation and enforcement to be collated, and a network of researchers and experts working in this field has developed.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
1. Quota Systems: An Overview of Global Trends and Regional Analysis
Overview of Women’s Political Representation in the Arab Region: Opportunities and Challenges
Gender Balance in Politics: Goals and Strategies in a Global Perspective
2. Implementing Legislated Quotas for Women
Women’s Participation and Special Measures in Djibouti
Women’s Political Participation: Legislated Quotas and Special Measures in Sudan
The Women’s Quota in Jordan: Crowning Three Decades of Support for Female Political Participation
Eritrean Women’s Experience of Political Participation
Women’s Political Participation: The Moroccan Example
3. Quotas Adopted by Political Parties
Gender Quotas and Legislative Recruitment: A Comparative Survey
4. Methods to Enhance Women’s Participation
Lobbying for Increased Participation of Women in Egypt
Women’s Political Participation in Egypt: Equality versus Equal Opportunity
The Political Participation of Women in Lebanon
Syrian Women in Decision-Making Positions and Political Participation
5. The Role of the International Community and International Instruments
Women’s Political Participation in the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union
Strengthening Women’s Participation in the Inter-Parliamentary Union
The Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa
About the Authors
About International IDEA