In countries all over the world, gender quotas are being introduced in order to change rapidly women’s under-representation in political assemblies. Only 17.8 percent of the world’s parliamentarians are women. Although controversial, electoral gender quotas are in use in almost half the countries in the world today. Until recently, Europe has not been in the forefront of this amazing development.

This research project consists in the elaboration, delivery and presentation to the European Parliament of a study on “Electoral gender quotas systems and their Implementation in Europe.” The projected is implemented in cooperation between Women in Politics Research Centre (WiP) at Stockholm University and International IDEA.

The project will map the diffusion of gender quotas in Europe and list the many different types of quotas in use. The arguments pro and con quotas will be studied, and the implementation and effect of gender quotas will be scrutinized. Moreover, in-depth case studies will be conducted on the quota systems in Belgium, France and Germany (mandatory countries) as well as Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The case studies are all written by researchers that are experts on the selected countries.

Project leader:

Drude Dahlerup, Professor, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University

Expert members of research team:

Christina Alnevall, Stockholm University, Sweden
Milica Antic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Lenita Freidenvall, Stockholm University, Sweden
Malgorzata Fuszara, University of Warsaw, Poland
Brigitte Geissel, Social Science Research Centre Berlin, Germany
Mona Lena Krook, Washington University, USA
Stina Larserud, IDEA’s expert-researcher
Petra Meier, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Mariette Sineau, Centre De Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po, France

Research assistants:

Katarina Bivald, Stockholm University, Sweden
Lene Persson Weiss, Stockholm University, Sweden
Eleonora Stolt, Stockholm University, Sweden
Emil Johansson, Stockholm University, Sweden


Electoral Gender Quota Systems and Their Implementation in Europe. 122 p.

This report has been written by WiP, Women in Politics Research Centre at Stockholm University – in cooperation with International IDEA and 8 case study authors, covering Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

September 9, 2008 the report was presented to the European Parliament, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, which had requested and financed the study.

Download updated version of the report, 2011

Download the report, 2008 (1056 Kb)