The Quota System

Member parties that have introduced a quota system for women

ARMENIA ARF 25% for candidates' lists
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA SDP BiH 40% for both genders and party structures
BRAZIL PDT 30% for party structures only
BULGARIA PBSD 30% for party structures only
CAMEROON SDF 30% for party structures only
CHILE PR 20% for party structures only
PPD 40%
PS 30%
COLOMBIA PLC 30% for party structures only
CROATIA SDP 40% for both genders
CYPRUS Movement of Social Democrats EDEK 25%
CZECH REPUBLIC CSSD 25% for party structures only
FINLAND SDP 40% for both genders and for party structures
IRELAND The Labour Party 25%
ISRAEL Israel Labour Party 40% for party structures only
Meretz Party 40% for party structures and for both genders
ITALY PSI 66% maximum for both genders and for party structures
RPM 30%
MOZAMBIQUE Frelimo Party 35%
NIGER PNDS 25% minimum in the party, 15% for elective positions and 25% for nominative positions
PANAMA PRD 50% for party structures
PORTUGAL PS 33% for both genders
SPAIN PSOE 40% for both genders.
TURKEY CHP 33% for both genders
URUGUAY PSU 36% minimum

The Quota for Women in Legislation

  • In Argentina an amendment to the electoral law was passed in November 1991. It stipulates that candidates' lists must include a minimum of 30 per cent women candidates for the posts up for election in proportions which offer the possibility of being elected. Lists which do not comply with these requirements will not be made official.
  • In Belgium legislation was passed in May 1994, stipulating a quota of one in four places on parliamentary candidates' lists from 1 January 1996 to 1 January 1999, to be increased thereafter to one in three. Sanctions consist of limiting the number of candidates: for example, where the one in four rule applies, of 25 candidates, 6 must be women. If there are only 4 women on the list, 2 places remain empty.
  • In France the laws have been enriched by measures favorable to the participation of women in political life. Urged on by public opinion convinced by the progress achieved by the Socialist Party since 1997, Deputies first modified the Constitution, then adopted measures for future elections. On 28 June 1999, the Congress (Deputies and Senators) approved modification of article 3 of the Constitution which now reads thus: "The law favours the equal access of women and men to electoral mandates and elected offices". This modification has opened the door to the implementation of laws for different elections. It was thus that in December 1999, a draft law was submitted regarding on the one hand, elections based on a list system and on the other, elections for a single member. Regarding the former, lists of candidates must henceforth be composed of equal numbers of women and men. The verification of such parity occurs every 6 candidates and continues until the end of the list. Lists which do not conform to this criterion are not registered and cannot participate in the elections. The law has come into effect at the municipal elections of 2001 except for those communes with fewer than 3,500 inhabitants, which have a special electoral system. Single member elections do not allow gender parity of candidates to be imposed: the law has created a special measure which penalises financially those parties or political groupings which do not respect a balance between women and men. Thus public funds given by the State will be reduced from the moment the gap between the candidates of each sex goes beyond 2% of the total number of candidates. For example, a party which presents 49% women and 51% men will not be penalised. Despite the fierce opposition of the right, these measures in their entirity were voted in at their last reading in May 2000; they represent a fundamental step forward in the modernisation of French democracy.
  • In Mexico federal electoral law stipulates that political parties must promote a greater participation of women in the political life of the country. With this in mind, federal laws require political parties to include this principle in its constitutive documents. Federal electoral law has also introduced the rule that all nominations for members of the Lower or Upper Chamber that are registered with the Federal Electoral Institute cannot exceed 70 per cent of either gender.

Declarations, resolutions and other information on the quota system:




Declaration on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2022

n these intensely turbulent times the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women creates a powerful focus on the continuing unacceptable levels of physical and mental suffering of women and girls and the urgent need to intensify our responses to the global scourge of gender based violence...

SIW Council Meeting and XXII Congress

Spain, Madrid, 21 to 23 November 2022

Elimination of Violence against Women - A Global Strategy

Gender Equality - A Way to Generate Actions that Positively Impact Climate Change

22 March 2022

66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 14 to 25 March 2022

Virtual Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW)

SIW Council Meeting

09 and 10 July 2022

Implementing Parity – A way to Peace and Development

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2022

The Socialist International Women (SIW) applauds the theme of International Women's Day 2022 "Equality Today for a Sustainable Future"...

Declaration on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2021

This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an opportunity to strongly remind our global community of the unacceptable levels of violence women and girls are suffering every single day, in every region around the world...

A Good Education is the Best Guarantee for a Good Life

Article by Tuula Peltonen, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 09 September 2021

In Finland, schools are just beginning their autumn term. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, schools will reopen as normal and thousands of teachers will return to teaching...

Situation of Women and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

26 August 2021

Following the fall of Afghanistan into the control of Taliban forces, the Socialist International Women stands in firm solidarity with the international community both in condemnation of all forms of violence and oppression in Afghanistan and in firm support of innocent civilians caught up in this distressing situation...

Role of Women in Sustainable Peace for Inclusive Development and Economic Security

Article by Shazia Marri, published in the Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 July 2021

Throughout history, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the future. Whether it is the freedom struggles in Asia and Africa or the economic uplift of Europe after the Second World War, women have proved — time and again — their resilience in the face of danger and difficulty alike...

Debt Cancellation: A burden lifted from women

Article by Chantal Kambiwa, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 17 June 2021

Over the years, acknowledgement of the rights of women and girls has become increasingly central to development strategies across the world and in Africa more particularly. Does this represent a recognition of the value of women and girls and a desire to see them flourish?...

We must defend progress in gender equality after the COVID-19 pandemic

Article by Ouafa Hajji, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 24 May 2021

Women and girls paid a disproportionate price of the economic shutdown during the pandemic, particularly in developing economies — our policies need to prevent this becoming the new norm, argues Ouafa Haji...

Our Support to Sandra Torres

30 April 2021

Socialist International Women, SIW, would like to show its support to Sandra Torres, leader of the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) of Guatemala and one of the SI Vice-Presidents...

SIW Council Meeting

30 April 2021

How to reinvent our future after Covid-19

Women are each other’s homeland

Article by Hilal Dokuzcan, published in Brussels Morning Online Newspaper on 30 March 2021

As Turkey withdraws from the Istanbul convention – to which an AKP government acceded in 2011 – a Turkish politician reflects on the prosecution of women, everywhere. There is no homeland for women, she notes, other than other women...

Statement on Turkey's Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

22 March 2021

The Socialist International Women are very sorry to receive the news of Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention determined by the President's decree on March 20, 2021...

Effective Participation and Decision-Making in Public Life - Key to Achieving Gender Equality

16 March 2021

65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 15 to 26 March 2021

Virtual Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW)

Season's Greeting!

December 2020

Wishing peace and equality for 2021


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women