Electoral Gender Quota Systems and their Implementation in Europe

01-09-2008

Although controversial, electoral gender quotas are in use in almost half of the countries in the world today. This study maps the diffusion of gender quotas in Europe and lists the many different types of quotas in use. The arguments for and against quotas are studied, and the implementation and effect of gender quotas are scrutinised. In-depth case studies have been conducted of eight countries, four with legislated gender quotas – Belgium, France, Slovenia and Spain – and four with voluntary gender quotas – Germany, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The study shows that gender quotas have led to remarkably rapid increases in women’s representation in some cases but also to disappointment in other cases.

Although controversial, electoral gender quotas are in use in almost half of the countries in the world today. This study maps the diffusion of gender quotas in Europe and lists the many different types of quotas in use. The arguments for and against quotas are studied, and the implementation and effect of gender quotas are scrutinised. In-depth case studies have been conducted of eight countries, four with legislated gender quotas – Belgium, France, Slovenia and Spain – and four with voluntary gender quotas – Germany, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The study shows that gender quotas have led to remarkably rapid increases in women’s representation in some cases but also to disappointment in other cases.

Parlamendiväline autor

Drude Dahlerup and Lenita Freidenvall with the assistance of Eleonora Stolt, Katarina Bivald and Lene Persson-Weiss (WIP - Women in Politics Research Centre, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, in cooperation with International IDEA)