Gender Balance

Increasing Women’s Political Representation: New Trends in Gender Quotas


Dahlerup, Drude. 2005. “Increasing Women’s Political Representation: New Trends in Gender Quotas.” In Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers, edited by Julie Ballington and Azza Karam, 141-153. Stockholm, Sweden: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

Author: Drude Dahlerup


Given the slow speed at which the number of women in politics is growing, different policy measures are being introduced to reach gender balance in political institutions. Quotas present one such mechanism to increase, and safeguard, women’s presence in parliaments and are now being introduced all over the world. What are the arguments for and against the use of quotas? What types of quota have led to substantial increase in women’s political representation in practice? Which quotas work best in different electoral systems and how can they be effectively enforced? This chapter examines the world of electoral quotas and the ways in which quotas can lead, and have led, to historic leaps in women’s political representation.

Keywords: women in politics, political representation, gender quotas, electoral systems

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Governance, Quotas, Political Participation

Year: 2005


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