Electoral Systems and Women's Political Participation
International IDEA together with WomenAct had organised a special session on "Electoral Systems and Women's Political Participation" led by two international women experts: Stina Larserud and Rumbidzai A Kandawasvika- Nhundu from International IDEA, Stockholm working in the areas of electoral system and quota provisions, gender and democracy; and diversity and democratic practice.
Stina Larserud explained the nature and types of electoral and quota systems in practice around the world. With the help of country specific examples she elaborated how a combination of a particular type of electoral system and quota system can either increase or decrease the representation of women.
Rumbidzai A Kandawasvika- Nhundu stressed that civil society especially in a country undergoing post conflict transition like Nepal has the responsibility to ensure the inclusion and participation of women in all levels of the state and must also come up with a strategy of engagement in order to facilitate their representation.
Both the speakers pointed out that the combination of electoral and quota system that will increase women's representation differs from country to country. Still, electoral rules and quota systems matter in terms of inclusion, women's representation and conflict management. Similarly quota systems should be looked upon not just as a mechanism to increase women's representation in numbers across all tiers of the state but also as a tool to promote gender equality.