Implementation of political party gender quotas: Evidence from the German Länder 1990-2000

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62 Scopus citations


The use of gender quotas to increase women's political representation in legislatures has expanded in recent years. Scholars have identified three main categories of gender quotas, including constitutional, election law and political party quotas. While considerable attention has been devoted to classifying types of quotas, to explaining why they were adopted and to investigating which quota provisions are most effective, little is known about the actual implementation of political party gender quotas. This article is a first step in explaining when parties live up to their promises to promote women's representation and when they fail to do so. Focusing on Germany, I examine four parties' experiences in implementing quotas in 16 states over a decade. I argue that while structural factors such as the electoral and party systems as well as the supply and demand of female candidates are not unimportant, cultural variables best explain whether or not parties actually comply with their own quotas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-232
Number of pages22
JournalParty Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Gender quotas
  • Party quotas
  • Women in German politics
  • Women in legislatures
  • Women's representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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