Electoral Systems

One more aspect, which is of particular importance for the women participation in politics, is electoral system of the country. Thus, according to researches, conducted in order to reveal dependence between electoral system and the number of women in parliament, the type of electoral system a country is one of the most critical issues for the increase of the women participation in politics. Thus, it has been proven that for the most part proportional representation systems are more favorable for women representation and are considered to be better for the promotion of women in parliament (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).

However, it is essential that governments should adjust electoral systems of the countries to secure women participation in political life of the country regardless the political situation. The importance to introduce greater participation of women in politics should be realized by the authorities. Underrepresentation of women in politics leads to the impoverishment of the development of democratic principles of society and even hampers its economic development (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).

One of the possible ways out to promote greater participation of women in the political life of the country is introduction of quotas. The notion of quotas for women means that there should be a certain percentage of women in the certain political body, regardless of the fact whether it is a candidate list, a committee, parliamentary assembly or a government (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007). The system of quotas is designed purposely for the greater involvement of women into the political life of the country.

This system was created in order to substitute the old system of reserved seats, under which each party was obliged to have one of several reserved seats. This system was not of great success as it didn’t really changed the position of a women in politics. Still a very insufficient number of women were observed in major political body. The system of reserved seats gave only a vague nation of women presence. On the contrary new quota system is considered to be very effective as it established definite percentage of women in political parties.

This system guarantees that the party will provide at least 30 or 40 % of the total number of their seats to women. This is a purposeful measure, which is quite often applied for a definite period of time in order to overcome the barriers for women participation in political life (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007). Quota system may be viewed as the measure undertaken in order to increase women representation in politics, due to the fact that this is the main concern today. So, in this case quota system may be viewed as gender-based.

Most quotas establish the 40 %-presence of women (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007). However, the whole idea of quotas is not necessarily gender-based and aimed to increase the number of women in politics. It can be also constructed on the gender-neutral basis, which implies that its main purpose is to correct underrepresentation of both women and men. Under this quota system the main condition could be that each gender should occupy not less than 40 % of seats and not more than 60 %.

However, in the present day situation quota system deals with the underrepresentation of women. In case that in future the opposite problem arises, it can be applied to deal the underrepresentation of men (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007). Quotas may be applied to ensure the participation of men in certain professions or positions, where the number of women is overwhelming, let’s say in social work. However, the problem is that even in such professions with overrepresentation of women, men still occupy major leadership positions (Women in Politics: Beyond Numbers, 2007).