Are gender quotas helping female politicians in Asia? 24 June 2016. The author, Netina Tan, of McMaster University discusses the types of quotas in use and their effectiveness in getting women into parliament. We quote from the paper which provides more detail:
My research suggests that the efficacy of quotas is contingent on the electoral system, party system institutionalisation and the political will to enforce and comply with the quota. For example, South Korea’s weakly institutionalised party system based on male-patronage networks lacks the will and ability to enforce and comply with quotas. The importance of political will is also reaffirmed when we consider how Singapore’s PAP unilaterally raised the number of female candidates from zero in the 1980 general election to a high of 20 women (22.5 per cent) in the 2015 general election without legislating quotas.
While proportional representation electoral systems are more likely to support female candidates, quota rules also need to specify the ordering of women candidates on the party list. For example, South Korea’s ‘zipper quota’ system mandates that a woman must be on every odd number on the party list. Without this, female candidates risk being placed at the bottom of the lists and therefore have no chance of being elected. This very problem happened in Mongolia which had no clear rule on the placement of candidates on the list.