The ideology and internal organization of political parties affect how different societal needs, interests and social demands are represented. Some parties have been great advocates of gender equality and promoting women in their candidate lists through either quotas or alternation rules. However, other political parties choose to ignore any regulations on achieving gender equality and instead opt to pay the fines that come from doing so or go about in ways so as to actively dismiss or neglect their female members.
The causality between the promotion of women’s participation and a party’s electoral success has not been properly documented. In this discussion we are looking for cases in which political parties have increased their support base and gained electoral votes after adopting reforms to promote women’s empowerment
Q1. Do you know of a particular political party that gained greater public support following the implementation of affirmative action measures?
Q2. Do you believe that there is a connection between the promotion of women’s participation and a political party’s electoral success?
Q3. What can political parties do to increase women’s political participation within their own structures and in the political arena in general?
To learn more about legal regulations and internal voluntary party regulations adopted by parties to create a gender equality framework, we invite you to read the Consolidated iKNOW Politics’ Expert Responses on “Best Practices used by Political Parties to Promote Women in Politics” (2012) and the Guidebook “Empowering Women for Stronger Political Parties” (UNDP-NDI, 2012), identifying a range of actions that political parties can take to support women’s participation.