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This section of the library provides research on the benefits of gender quotas for women’s increased political representation.
Gender Quotas
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Gender Quotas and Democracy: Insights from Africa and Beyond

Author: Mona Lena Krook | Electoral gender quotas have simultaneously been praised for promoting greater inclusion and criticized as an artificial solution to women’s under-representation in politics. This paper presents new ways for fleshing out what quotas ultimately mean for women’s empowerment and democratic development in both Africa and beyond.

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Sustainable Representation of Women Through Gender Quotas: A Decade’s Experience in Morocco

Author: Hanane Darhour & Drude Dahlerup | This article surveys the adoption and implementation of gender quotas in the Moroccan parliamentary elections of 2002, 2007, and 2011. Despite being effective in bringing a substantial number of women into parliament, the question should be asked— can gender quotas, once introduced, lead to more sustainable political representation for women? By introducing the concept of sustainable representation, defined as a durable, substantial political representation of women, this article points to the importance of studying how gender quotas may or may not alter some of the barriers which prevent women’s equal participation and representation.

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The Effect of Gender Quota Laws on the Election of Women: Lessons from Niger

Author: Alice Kang | Between 2000 and 2012, ten African countries adopted candidate gender quota laws to improve women’s representation in national legislatures. The effect of these laws on the election of women has varied widely. This article examines the effect of a gender quota law on the election of women as well as the appointment of women to the cabinet in the Republic of Niger to better understand the realities of applying legal gender quotas in Africa. The study concludes that the effect of the gender quota law on the election and appointment of women hinged on a combination of three factors: the design of the law, the institutional context, and the agency of women’s activists who monitored the quota’s implementation.

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Making Quotas Work: The Effect of Gender Quota Laws on the Election of Women

Author: Leslie Schwindt-Bayer | Gender quotas have proven to be the fastest and most popular means of increasing women’s political representation, but not all gender quotas are made equal. This article adds nuance to existing literature on the effectiveness of gender quotas, examining three key aspects of candidate quota laws that amplify or decrease quota effectiveness: the percentage of candidates required to be female, placement mandates, and enforcement mechanism. Considering the different types of quotas and the wide range of political contexts, the study provides essential insight into the impacts of each type of quota. Conclusions drawn from this work may be used to inform the design and implementation of future gender quotas.

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The Increasing Effectiveness of National Gender Quotas, 1990 - 2010

Author: Pamela Paxton and Melanie M. Hughes | In a cross-national study of 145 countries, this article examines how effective gender quotas are in creating positive change for women over time. Overall, gender quotas become an increasingly more powerful method of transforming the makeup of national legislatures as time passes. However, the impact of gender quotas at the national level can be affected, among other factors, by the design of the quota. Positive change spurred by gender quotas can also be correlated to shifting attitudes about gender equality and women’s participation in politics.

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