The Quota System

Member parties that have introduced a quota system for women

UCR 30%
ARMENIA ARF 25% for candidates' lists
AUSTRIA SPÖ 40% for both genders
SPA 25%
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 25% for party structures only
CHILE PRSD 20% for party structures only
PPD 40%
PS 30%
COLOMBIA PLC 30% for party structures only
CROATIA SDP 40% for both genders
CURAÇAO MAN 30% for candidates' lists
CYPRUS Movement of Social Democrats EDEK 25%
CZECH REPUBLIC CSSD 25% for party structures only
DENMARK SDP 40% for both genders
FINLAND SDP 40% for both genders and for party structures
GERMANY SPD 40% for both genders
GREECE PASOK 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%
MEXICO PRD 50% for both genders
PRI 50%
MONGOLIA MPP 30% for candidates, 25% for party structures
MOZAMBIQUE Frelimo Party 35%
NICARAGUA FSLN 30% minimum
NORWAY DNA 40% for both genders
PORTUGAL PS 33% for both genders
SPAIN PSOE 40% for both genders.
SWEDEN SAP 50% for all candidates' list
TURKEY CHP 33% for both genders
BDP 40%
URUGUAY PSU 36% minimum
USA DSA 50% for internal structures only
MAS 30%

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:




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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)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2021

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SIW Executive Meeting

18 December 2020

COVID-19 and the Impact this is Having on Women and Gender Equality in the Different Regions

Declaration on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2020

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Message of Support for Turkey and Greece Following 30th October Earthquake

October 2020

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Message of Solidarity with all Women and Girls Worldwide during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 2020

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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