Quotas for Women in Politics: Gender and Candidate Selection Reform Worldwide
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Women have the right as citizens to equal representation. Women who are as well qualified as men are sometimes undervalued in a male-dominated political system or culture. Quotas for women do not discriminate but rather compensate for barriers that prevent women from achieving equal representation in parliament. Quotas can contribute to a process of democratisation by making the nomination process more transparent.
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If women perform well, voters are likely to be more willing to elect women candidates in future elections, even in the absence of quotas. More women in parliament benefits society by drawing on wider range of talents and resources and strengthening democratic participation. Table 3: Gender quota systems in Commonwealth countries by region. Table 4: Percentage of women in Commonwealth parliaments with gender quotas by region.
The Effect of Gender Quotas in the First Decade of the Twenty-first Century: A Global Comparison
Country Quota status. South Africa is considering amendments to its Electoral Act to require that all political parties have at least 50 per cent representation by women in the lead-up to the elections. Namibia has legislated candidate quotas at the sub-national level and voluntary party quotas. Whilst party quotas have been effective in increasing the proportion of women in the National Assembly from 6. Kenya has both reserved seats and voluntary party quotas. The Political Parties Act Article 30, 4 created a Support Fund for Political Parties only available to parties in which women comprise at least a third of the total membership.
New constitutional provisions for gender equality in the electoral system were first implemented in the March general elections. In the countries of North and South America, women represent an average of Canada is the only Commonwealth country in this region to have some form of quota system. Canada and Australia are similar in having voluntary party quotas. The quotas were introduced in the s for directly elected reserved seats. The percentage of reserved seats for women was subsequently increased to 33 per cent in India and Pakistan and to 25 per cent in Bangladesh.
The Indian Parliament already had reserved seats for certain groups including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes when it passed a constitutional amendment to reserve one third of seats by direct elections in local municipal bodies and rural panchayats village councils in as part of an anti-poverty measure.
A quota system was first introduced by the Constitution originally providing for 15 reserved seats for women, out of seats, for a period of 10 years. In a presidential proclamation enlarged the number of reserved seats to 30 and extended the period of reservation to 15 years from the date of promulgation of the constitution of the Republic in December The constitutional provision lapsed in and was re-incorporated in the constitution by an amendment in to be effective for 10 years from the first meeting of the legislature next elected.
This provision lapsed in The Bangladeshi Parliament passed a constitutional amendment in to reintroduce quotas for women. The number of seats in parliament was raised from to , of which the additional 45 seats 13 per cent were reserved for women.
On 30 June the number of reserved seats was increased from 45 to 50, bringing the total number of seats to The reserved seats are divided among the political parties based on the proportion of seats they won in the election. These seats are allocated to four provinces in the following manner: Punjab — 35 seats reserved for women; Sindh province — 14 seats; North West Frontier Province NWFP — eight seats; Baluchistan — three seats.
Following the elections, these seats are allocated to the political parties proportionally, in line with the number of votes they have received. Parties nominate and ultimately elect the women to the special seats. Seventeen out of the seats in the Senate are reserved for women. Members of the Senate are indirectly elected by member of the provincial councils and by members of the lower house. The European Union established gender equality as one of its founding values.
Women currently hold an average of 35 per cent of seats in the European Parliament. The numbers are lower in individual European national parliaments where women comprise an average of In Denmark, Sweden and Norway, political parties introduced voluntary gender quotas in the s, and consistently achieve higher numbers of women in parliament than other members of the European Union. The quota system has been abandoned in Denmark because it is considered to have achieved its objective.
All three are members of the European Parliament. It provides for a 40 per cent target for participation of women in national political life, and most political parties in Cyprus have introduced voluntary quotas for party decision-making roles while some have adopted them for candidate lists. Nevertheless, the proportion of women elected to the national parliament fell from Initially, the Labour Party required at least one woman candidate in those districts where a woman had been nominated.
The party controversially adopted a formal quota policy in after these measures failed, requiring all-women shortlists in 50 per cent of all vacant Labour-held seats and 50 per cent of all winnable seats. In Malta the Labour Party has introduced a voluntary party quota system. The country has recently opposed a proposal by the European Commission to enforce quotas for women on boards of publicly-listed companies.
Australia is one of ten Commonwealth countries in which one or more major political party has adopted a voluntary political party quota system. It is the only Commonwealth member in the Pacific to do so. The Australian Labor Party adopted a voluntary political party quota in Some of the minor parties have embraced embraced gender equity as a founding principle. The Samoan Parliament passed the Constitutional Amendment Act in June , introducing reserved seats for 10 per cent of the National Assembly for women members. The rule will apply to the National Assembly elections in If less than five women win seats in general elections candidates who secured the most votes will fill the allocated seats, while if five women candidates win seats in elections, system of reserved seats will not apply and the number of seats in Parliament will be If the seat of an elected woman MP becomes vacant, and a man wins the seat in a subsequent by-election, a woman candidate in that by-election with the most votes becomes an MP to ensure the five seats remain occupied.
If no woman candidate runs in that by-election a woman MP is chosen from the results of the last by-election or general election. If two or more women candidates get equal votes the winner will be decided by a lot before the Electoral Commissioner in the presence of the candidates or their authorised representatives and at least two police officers. No two women candidates from the same constituency may become an MP unless no other women candidate exists to make up the prescribed number of women MPs. Dahlerup, D, ed, Women, quotas and politics , Routledge, Abingdon, Palmeri, S, Gender-sensitive parliaments: a global review of good practice , Inter-Parliamentary Union, Reports and document, 65, Tremblay, M, ed, Women and legislative representation: electoral systems, political parties, and sex quotas , Palgrave Macmillan, New York, Average from survey of countries conducted by Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Inter-Parliamentary Union, Women in Parliament in the year in perspective , , accessed 12 July Inter-Parliamentary Union, Women in national parliaments , World and regional averages as at 1 October , accessed 11 November Quotas are also used to boost the presence of other under-represented groups in parliament based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, language, class, disability or educational status.
New Zealand for example has a long-established practice of reserved seats for Maori. S Larserud and R Taphorn, Designing for equality: best-fit, medium-fit and non-favourable combinations of electoral systems and gender quotas , International IDEA, Sweden, , accessed 22 October Fraenkel, The impact of electoral system s, op. Fridell, Consolidated response, op.
Krook et al, Gender quotas and models of political citizenship, op. Dahlerup, What are the effects of electoral gender quotas? Ballington and Karam, Women in parliament , ibid. Godwin, Awaiting the watershed, op. This ranking is based on the percentage of women members of parliament in the lower or single house of parliament in each of the countries surveyed. McCann and Wilson, Representation of women in Australian parliaments , op. Palmeri, Gender-sensitive parliaments , op. IPU, Women in national parliaments , op.
SM Rai et al, p. New Zealand has a long-established practice of reserved seats for Maori, but there is no legislated quota system for women.
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Electoral quotas for women: an international overview
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Parliamentary Library staff are available to discuss the contents of publications with Senators and Members and their staff. Their introduction has been controversial in some countries, particularly in liberal democracies where critics oppose them on the basis that they discriminate against men and undermine the selection of candidates or parliamentarians on the basis of merit. Gender quota systems differ in type and application. The main systems in use are reserved seats, legal candidate quotas, and voluntary political party quotas.
Gender Quotas in Parliament: A Global View | Krook | Al-Raida Journal
The success of gender quotas is influenced by various factors including the nature of the political system, the type of electoral or voting system, the type of quota system adopted, cultural attitudes towards the role of women in society, and the nature of the parliamentary environment itself.
Oferta actual:. In recent years, political parties and national legislatures in more than one hundred countries have adopted quotas for the selection of female candidates to political office. Despite the rapid international diffusion of these measures, most research has focused on single countries - or, at most, the presence of quotas within one world region.
Consequently, explanations for the adoption and impact of gender quotas derived from one study often contradict with findings from other cases. Quotas for Women in Politicsis the first book to address quotas as a global phenomenon to explain their spread and impact in diverse contexts around the world. It is organized around two sets of questions. First, why are quotas adopted?