Electoral Gender Quotas as an Equal Opportunity: the First Implementation of Act n. 165/2017


  • Andrea Gratteri Università degli Studi di Pavia




Abstract: In 2017 Parliament passed a new electoral law (n. 165/2017) that establishes strong gender quotas for parliamentary elections. The new mixed electoral system is based on single-member constituencies and multi-member districts. Parties must comply with a 40 per cent gender quota in single-member constituencies and with a 50/50 list of candidates in multi-member districts.

According to the art. 51 of the Constitution and to the Constitutional court case-law, quotas are admitted as long as they do not directly interfere with the electoral result and they only affect the presentation of candidates.

This is the reason why Parliament (elected in March 2018) is composed by around 35 per cent of women only: parties are widely autonomous in defining the way in which man and women participate in their lists to make gender quotas less effective. The result is anyway positive and women representation is now higher than ever.

 Keywords: gender quotas, candidates, elections, electoral law, representation.

Author Biography

Andrea Gratteri, Università degli Studi di Pavia

Professore associato di Diritto costituzionale - Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza - Università degli Studi di Pavia