Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Gender Quotas: Towards an Improved Democracy

October 2, 2021

Various sorts of gender quotas for public elections are being implemented in an increasing number of nations

Gender quotas for women in local government bodies can help boost women’s presence in politics, improve public service delivery, and improve women’s leadership perceptions. Gender quotas are one policy instrument for increasing women’s political representation. Only around a quarter of parliamentary seats in the globe are held by women, and only about a quarter of the world’s presidents of state and government are female. This disparity extends to municipal governments in several countries. Countries are taking steps to address the problem: In 2013, 118 nations used some sort of gender quotas in elected positions.

Reserving a particular number of leadership posts for women is one strategy to achieve gender quotas. Reservation quotas influenced women’s political engagement and policy results, and boosted the provision of public goods matched with female voters’ preferences, according to an assessment of eleven randomised evaluations conducted in Afghanistan, Lesotho, and across 24 Indian states. Furthermore, quotas boosted men’s perceptions of women as leaders, raised girls’ aspirations, and aided women’s election long after quotas were eliminated. The majority of the rigorous research used to develop this understanding originates in India; comparable generalisations should be drawn with caution.

Women’s leaders put more money into policies and programmes that are important to them. Quotas are significant because women’s preferences for public goods may differ from men’s. In India, communities with gender quotas for local village leaders had more public goods overall than communities without quotas, and female village leaders invested more in public goods related to women’s problems than male village leaders. Women’s policy views ranged not just from men’s, but also from one another, depending on geographic area and caste background. In India, quotas resulted in enhanced police response to crimes against women, better nutrition and educational outcomes for children, and increased women’s entrepreneurship In India, both men and women were more ready to contribute money to public good provision in communities with quotas.