Fiona Buckley powerpoint presentation on 5050

Electoral Gender Quotas
Fiona Buckley
University College Cork
Co-founder, The 5050
Group
Presentation to Hanna’s House
‘Women Delivering Peace and Security’
Conference
Croke Park, 5th November 2012
0%
Dáil
NI Assembly
House of…
Scottish Parliament
Welsh Assembly
Malta
Hungary
Cyprus
Romania
Republic of Ireland
Slovakia
Lithuania
Estonia
Bulgaria
Greece
Italy
Czech Republic
UK
Latvia
Poland
Luxembourg
France
Austria
Portugal
Slovenia
Germany
Spain
Belgium
Netherlands
Denmark
Finland
Sweden
% Women and Men
Parliamentary Representation (EU27)
100%
% Female
Representation
90%
% Male
Representation
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
Electoral Gender Quotas
•
A mechanism to guarantee a certain percentage of women are present either (1)
on the ballot paper OR (2) in parliament
•
•
Act as a process of change and a facilitator of women’s political inclusion
Compensates for the many gendered barriers of accessing political office
•
Implementation
– Constitutional (e.g. France, Rwanda)
– Legislative (e.g. ROI, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Argentina)
– Voluntary (e.g. Scandinavian countries; Germany)
•
Application
– Results /Outcome (Reserve Seats)
• Africa; Asia
– Nomination (Candidate Selection)
• Europe, South America
– Provide the electorate with greater choice
Why Quotas? Background
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•
•
Legacy of (i) historical exclusion of women from political citizenship (ie suffrage); (ii)
bias towards traditional gender roles have resulted in women’s underrepresentation worldwide; and (iii) challenge the gendered nature of political
institutions and decision-making
– 2012 world average 20.5% female parliamentarians
• 79.5% ‘over-representation’ of men
Progress in women’s representation is slow, static and subject to reversals
– e.g. post-Soviet states , Republic of Ireland
• Ireland 37th place in world-rankings in 1990; now 89th position!
Growing pressures on states/political parties from 1990s onwards to tackle
women’s under-representation
– Endogenous pressure: e.g. women’s movements, growing electoral
competition , political parties
– Exogenous pressure: e.g. UN (CEDAW; Beijing Protocols; Resolution 1325) and
the EU
To address the above problems, over 100 nation-states worldwide have introduced
gender quotas
Questioning Quotas
•
•
•
•
•
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Do ‘gender quotas’ work?
– 17 of the top 20 nations in terms of women’s political representation have gender quotas
• 3 electoral cycles
Are quotas democratic/fair?
– Liberals say ‘no’ but supporters say they are compensatory and promote democracy
What about the ‘merit’ debate?
– Naïve to assume all politicians make it on merit alone.
• What of family dynasties; the ‘celebrity’ candidate; differing access to funding;
favour by the paper leader?
How is the quota enforced and monitored?
– Sanctions for non-compliance must be effective
• Financial penalties; list rejections; disqualifications; strong leadership; monitoring
What about the ‘token’ or ‘quota woman’ debate?
– Token men have been contesting elections for years!
Candidates should be selected on ability, not on the basis of their biological sex – the quota
will lead to ‘unqualified’ women being elected.
– If it was simply a question of ability, women would be elected
•
•
Train, mentor, support
Gain local level experience
Questioning Quotas
•
•
•
•
•
•
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Women are just not interested in politics!
– Over 2000 groups across the Island of Ireland headed up by women
Will a quota result in ‘parachuted’ candidates?
– It may. So what? It happens all the time.
Parties can’t ‘find’ women to run for politics
– Party membership; non-traditional recruitment grounds; ask again, and again, and again – persistence
pays off
The ‘slippery slope’ argument – “we’ll have quotas for red-heads next!”
– What’s the big fear of greater diversity?
Gender quotas will lead to men’s displacement in society!
– No evidence
How will quotas resolve cultural matters?
– Change from within
I don’t need quotas; I can make it in politics alone
– Fantastic, but try not to pull up the ladder after you....not all will have a similar experience to you
Are quotas the only solution?
– No, must be introduced alongside other measures
• Training, mentoring, financial supports, practical supports (childcare); campaign supports
(canvassers)
What does the 5050 Group do?
• Advocacy group dedicated to achieving equal representation
in Irish politics
• Fully inclusive and politically non-aligned
• Lobby for the implementation of special measures (quotas) to
increase the number of women on the ballot paper;
– Give more women the opportunity to get onto the ballot
paper thus providing voters with greater choice
• Build general awareness of the importance of redressing the
balance of representation of women in Irish politics
• Grow a grassroots movement that will agitate for change;
• Identify and support women candidates
• Watchdog role
‘Velvet Triangle’ (Alison Woodward, 2004)
Policy Makers
Civil Society
Academia
Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012
• 30% gender quota
– Ensure 30% women and 30% men candidates on
the ballot paper at next general election
• Candidate selection quota
• Quota to rise to 40% seven years thereafter
• Sanction: parties lose half of their State
funding is they do not meet quota
requirement
• Weakness: not applicable at local government
Krook (2007, 2009)
• Framework of analysis for the adoption of
candidate gender quotas
– Women’s mobilisation
– Democratic renewal/change
– International pressure
– Elite support and strategic considerations
• Oftentimes key if positive action measures are to be
introduced
2011 NI Assembly Election
1st preference vote by sex & party (McGing, 2012)
Party
DUP
Sinn Féin
1st preferences
1st preferences
1st preferences
(total)
(men)
(women)
198,436
178,222
170,667 (86%)
UUP
SDLP
Alliance Party
TUV
Green Party
Independents
Others
Total
661,734
1st pref. per
male candidate
1st pref. per
woman
candidate
4,613
3,967
126,730 (71%)
27,769 (14%)
51,492 (29%)
4,370
4,681
87,531
78,302 (89%)
9,229 (11%)
3,012
3,076
94,286
76,926 (82%)
17,360 (18%)
3,205
4,340
50,875
32,957 (65%)
17,918 (35%)
2,197
2,560
16,480
14,466 (88%)
2,014 (12%)
1,447
1,007
6,031
5,142 (85%)
889 (15%)
1,028
889
15,535
13,833 (89%)
1,702 (11%)
988
1,702
14,338
13,729 (96%)
609 (4%)
4,677
609
532,752 (81%)
128,982 (19%)
2,960
3,394
Final Thoughts!
“A society that is without the voice and vision of a woman is not less feminine. It is less human”
(Mary Robinson)
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Ask a woman to run for politics.
Politics is a tough job, but women are as able as men to do it
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Gender quotas provide an opportunity structure to facilitate women’s electoral
candidacy
– access to the ballot paper
Gender quotas provide voters with greater electoral choice
– (i) option to choose between men and women;
– (ii) between women of different parties
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If not quotas, what is the alternative? If not now, when?
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third,
it is accepted as being self-evident” (Schopenhauser)
Contact the 5050 Group
www.twitter.com/@5050group
www.facebook.com/5050Group
http://5050-group.com/blog
Email: [email protected]
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