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Electoral Quotas for Women Database

Producer: 

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and Stockholm University

Stated Purpose: 

To provide data on quotas for women in public elections, together with the proportion of seats occupied by women. Also provides detailed case studies on the use of quotas in thirty countries around the world.

Area of Governance: 
Electoral Systems
Governance and Gender
Parliament
Funding Source: 

 International IDEA.

Current usage: 

The website collates data from all countries where quotas are known to be used to increase the representation of women in legislatures. Details are provided concerning the types of quota (electoral law, constitutional or political party + constitutional or legislative quotas for sub-national government).

Type of data used: 

This is a composite database bringing together data from the best available sources, such as constitutions and electoral laws, parliamentary websites, political party websites, international databases, separate websites on parliaments, political parties, international organizations, gender statistics and academic research. 

All known quotas are included, regardless of the status of the most recent election of the country to which they relate. Viewers and users are invited to submit any new information which they are aware of for possible inclusion within the database.

 

Coverage: 

Countries with electoral gender quotas.
First data/latest data: Depends on date of last election in each country concerned.

Contact details: 

International IDEA
Strömsborg, S-103 34 Stockholm
Sweden
Email: info@idea.int or quotas@statsvet.su.se
This is a collaborative project with the department of political science at Stockholm
University.

Methodology: 

The data is drawn from constitutions and electoral laws, parliamentary websites and secondary sources. Calculations are not made, this being a data harvesting exercise. The individual data source for each country is shown in each case.

Format of results: 

The quotas are expressed both as percentages and numbers of seats reserved for women. In addition, some political parties set targets for the proportions of candidates who must be women.

Valid Use: 

The information in the database facilitates the study of quotas and their impact. IDEA hopes that the database will be valuable to those who work to increase women’s political representation. Further information about additional reasons for the increase (or decrease) in female political representation is provided through a series of country case studies.

Invalid Use: 

This cannot be used to draw conclusions about the functioning of the democratic process without further information. It would be important to know about the existence of female candidates and the platform upon which they stood (if different to male candidates). In addition, issues such as voter turnout could have affected the results in the database.

Assumption: 

To use this data as a proxy for the representation of women’s issues within the democratic system of a country would imply an assumption that women’s issues are uniquely, or better covered by female representatives.

Example results: