International IDEA in collaboration with Demo Finland, UN Women and the Embassy of Finland organized a seminar on the Electoral System and Women’s Representation in Nepal: Need for Reform? on 4 March 2014 in Kathmandu.
270 people participated, including Constituent Assembly (CA) members, representatives from political parties, civil society, media and academics.
In the opening session Undersecretary of State from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Ms Anne Sipilainen shared the Finnish experience of achieving equal representation between men and women. She highlighted the Finnish Act on Equality between Women and Men which contains a gender quota provision of 40 per cent in nominations to State committees, advisory boards, as well as municipal bodies (with the exception of municipal councils). In Finland, the representation of women in parliament currently stands at 42.5 per cent despite the absence of electoral quotas for parliamentary elections. This is only possible because the parties in Finland have set their own voluntary quotas and include an equal number of women and men candidates.