A paper presented at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)/CEE Network for Gender Issues Conference in Budapest, Hungary, 22–23 October 2004
The Implementation of Quotas: European Experiences
"...The IPU does not see quotas as the prime means of enhancing women’s participation in politics. It prefers gradual change to mandatory measures. However, the organisation recognizes that, when faced with deadlock and slow change, quotas, insofar as they are temporary special measures, are sometimes the only way forward. The organisation’s position on affirmative action and quotas is set out in its Plan of Action to correct imbalances in the participation of men and women in political life, adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Council in 1994. The Plan of Action states that: On a strictly interim basis, these measures may include affirmative action measures. Wherever the measure chosen is a quota system, it is proposed that the quota should not target women but that, in a spirit of equity, it may be established that neither sex may occupy a proportion of seats inferior to a given percentage...."