Implementing gender quotas in Portugal: A success story?
6th European Conference on Politics and Gender
Países Baixos (Holanda)
Following the international trend, Portugal adopted legislative quotas (Parity Law) in 2006. According to that law, party lists must include at least one third of candidates of either sex, and neither sex shall occupy more than two consecutive positions. It applies to three types of elections: European, legislative and local. Among parties with parliamentary representation, there is a general compliance with the law for legislative and European elections. However, in local elections, several parties (including the bill's proponents, the PS and the BE) have failed to meet the quota law's dispositions in several municipalities. After the law’s implementation, gender equality in politics once again vanished from the political agenda. However, in March 2018 the current socialist government introduced a bill proposing the revision of the law, which is still under discussion in parliament. This paper follows the ‘Gender Equality Policy in Practice’ (GEPP) approach – along with its practical steps – and aims to deepen our understanding of the implementation of the quota law in Portugal, including the degree to which that law has contributed to promoting gender equality. After mapping out how the quota law was actually implemented in Portugal – including a description of the tools and instruments that were set up and how things happened in practice – an initial assessment of the policy’s effects/success is developed. The latter contributes to the open debate on the indicators of success related to a legislative quota law.