Quotas as Tools to Enhance Women’s Participation


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Presentation on quotas as tools to enhance women’s participation in decision-making by Jullie Ballington, UNDP. Presentation presented at UNDP Regional Forum on Equal participation in decision-making, Istanbul, Session 3: Quotas as a tool to enhance women’s participation on decision-making

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Quotas as Tools to Enhance Women’s Participation

  1. 1. Quotas as Tools to Enhance Women’s ParticipationRegional Forum on Equal Participation in Decision-Making Istanbul, 15 November 2011Julie Ballington, Adviser, Global Programme on Electoral Cycle Support, UNDP
  2. 2. Women in Decision-Making: The Targets• 1979-85: CEDAW & Third World Conference on Women suggested concrete measures be taken for the advancement of women• 1990: ECOSOC Resolution no. 15 recommended a target of 30% women in leadership posts by 1995 and 50% by 2000• 1995: Fourth World conference reported little progress in 30% target. Platform for Action stipulates the aim of ‘gender balance’ and having the same proportion of both sexes in public positions, i.e. 50 - 50.• 2000: Millennium Development Goals set indicator of at least 30% women by 2015.
  3. 3. Women in National Parliaments (188) 50-60% 2 50% 5 26 40-50% 14% 30-40% 19 30% 20-30% 46 65 162 10-20% 86% 1-10% 43 0% 8IPU, Women in National Parliaments, single and lower houses 2011
  4. 4. Numbers in Regional Perspective45% 42.1%40%35%30%25% 22% 22% 19.5% 18% 19%20% 12.5%15% 10.9%10%5%0% Nordic Americas Europe incl. World Asia Sub- Pacific Arab States countries Nordic Average Saharan countries Africa
  5. 5. What have we learned in the past 10 years? • Knowledge on strategies to increase women’s participation, including working with political parties • Investment by international community in supporting women candidates: capacity building/training workshops • Support of CSOs is key in terms of mobilization and oversight. • Despite this, the most important measure has been use of quotas
  6. 6. Women in National Parliaments (188) 50-60% 2 50% 5 26 40-50% 14% 30-40% 19 30% 23 countries use quotas: 11 with voluntary candidate quota by parties 3 with reserved seats 12 with legislated candidate quota 3 with no quotas (Andorra, Denmark, NZL)IPU, Women in National Parliaments, single and lower houses 2011, www.quotaproject.org
  7. 7. Types of quotasCandidate quotas Legislated: Minimum percentage of candidate for election must be women as stipulated in legislation Voluntary party quota: Minimum percentage of candidates for election as determined on a voluntary basis by political parties OUTPUT: Guaranteed seats Reserved seats: Number of seats are set aside in the parliament for women.
  8. 8. Quotas in practiceLegislated candidate quota: 52 countriesFYR Macedonia In lists of candidates, of every three places at least one will be reserved for the less represented sexKyrgyzstan Law specifies a 30% quota for either sex on electoral listsSerbia Political party lists must contain at least 30% of each sex.In an additional 50 countries, political parties havevoluntary quotas
  9. 9. Electoral systems matterQuotas need to match the electoral system:- 70% of countries with proportional or mixed electoral systems use some type of quota- Less than 30% of countries with majority/plurality electoral systems use quotas- Therefore the gap in women’s representation in different electoral systems is only likely to widen in the future- During 2009, women were elected in twice the number in proportional systems than in majority/plurality systems (26% versus 13%)
  10. 10. Rank-order rules are necessary 1. Zipper system – alternation throughout the list (E.g. Green parties, most parties in Sweden) 2. The top two candidates cannot be of the same sex (Belgium) 3. One-in three must be a woman (Albania, FYR of Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan)
  11. 11. Sanctions for non-compliance: • Rejection of the list (Kyrgyzstan, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) • Places shall remain empty (Belgium) • Financial penalty (Albania)
  12. 12. Conclusion“One cannot deal with the problem of femalerepresentation by a quota system alone. Politicalparties, the educational system, NGOs, tradeUnions…– all must take responsibility with their ownorganisations to systematically promote women’sparticipation from the bottom up. This will take time.”Birgitta Dahl, Former Speaker of Parliament, Sweden Supportive measures include: • Capacity building of newly elected members • Sensitization of all members, including men • Instituting gender sensitive reforms in parliament • Democratization of political parties