Gender Quotas and Representation

Themes & Issues by Country

Gender Quotas and Representation

Burkina Faso

Women comprise 51.7% of the total population of Burkina Faso. (Source: National Institute of Statistics and Demography, 2006). Despite that women make up a majority of the population, the established situation that women are not only underrepresented in political parties, but also in the spheres of political decision-making is accepted by all. Political parties are structured so that there are typically secretariats for women’s issues and women’s unions. However, the organization of political parties often gives the impression that the issue of women’s representation is addressed purely for electoral purposes…

Chad

The issue of women’s representation in politics remains unresolved. There is no law establishing quotas for women. It is true that the President encourages the inclusion of women on party candidate lists, but this remains lip service confined to political discourse and not translated into reality. The lack of a legal framework establishing parity or quotas makes it difficult for women to gain access to political office. Most political parties agree on the need to involve women in politics, but it is rare to find women in decision-making positions such as the President or Secretary General of a party. With some exceptions, women are generally present to garner support for political parties during political rallies…

Mali

In Mali, there are no legally established electoral quotas for any social group. In 2006, the National Assembly rejected a draft law granting 30 percent of seats to women on the grounds that this law would violate the Constitution. The Constitution guarantees “the equality of all citizens regardless of origin, race or religion.” This provision was used by members of the National Assembly to reject the proposed law. However, some civil society organizations and advocates opposed this argument citing that Mali, as well as many other African countries, has ratified the Convention for the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). They argue that by ratifying CEDAW it establishes a basis on which the principle of positive discrimination can be institutionalized…

Mauritania

An ordinance was issued in 2006 to promote better representation of women in elected offices. Ordinance 2006-029 of August 22, 2006, introduced a voluntary principle for a gender quota to increased women’s representation on municipal and legislative bodies. In order to render the measure effective, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Women’s Affairs issued a joint decree (Decree 2165/MIPT/SECF of August 13, 2006) mandating that the representation of women on lists of candidates to be submitted by political parties for legislative and local elections. This ministerial decree dictates how male and female candidates are listed, reserving to women a number of elective positions…

Niger

The law 2000-008 of June 7, 2000 was passed to create a quota system for all elected positions in an effort to enable all citizens of Niger, without discrimination, to express their views on public affairs directly or through their elected representatives. This law sought to insure the equal opportunity for all citizens to gain access to government positions. The decree 2001-56/PRN/MDSP/PF/PE of February 28, 2001 provides the specific details related to the enforcement of this law…

Senegal

Senegal succeeded in passing a “Law on Parity” (Law 2010-11 Act of May 28, 2010), following the passing of an initial piece of parity legislation, prior to the legislative elections of June 3, 2007, and its subsequent invalidation by the Constitutional Court, (Ruling 97-2007 – Case 1/ C/2007), for violation of the Constitution (Article 7). The new Parity Law instituted total parity, between men and women, in all partially or entirely elected institutions, was passed following an amendment of the Constitution voted on November 13 and 26, 2010 respectively by the National Assembly and the Senate. The Amendment included in the Constitution a parity provision between men and women “in all elected terms and all positions granted through elections”…