Implementing Gender Quotas: Spotlight on Sudan
Sudan's 2008 Electoral Law
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Lessons Learned From Other Countries

The Middle East and North Africa region is heavily criticized by international organizations for its democracy deficit, in particular women’s access to the political system. Arab women’s representation in legislatures is the lowest in the world, at about 6.5%.[1]

 

On July 7 2008, Sudan’s legislature passed a new electoral law that created the framework for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for February 2010. According to the law, the hybrid electoral system will elect 60% of the parliamentary seats by a plurality, popular vote in geographical electoral districts. Of the remaining 40% of the seats, 15% will be elected by proportional representation and 25% will be reserved seats for women from separate electoral lists.

Gender quotas in the form of reserved seats were implemented in an effort to reverse gender discrimination in Sudan. This new electoral law represents large potential for empowering women in Sudan through political inclusion.

 

 

A closer look at quotas in Sudan 

More information about the debate that led to the 2008 Election Law

 

Breakdown of the 450 seats in Parliament:

 

- 270 seats (60% of the total seats) will be elected from geographic constituencies by a plurality, popular vote.

 

- 112 seats (25% of the total seats) will be reserved for women to be elected from a separate list.

 

- 68 seats (15% of the total seats) will be elected from

 

[1] “About: Global Database of Quotas for Women.” International IDEA & Stockholm University. http://www.quotaproject.org/aboutQuotas.cfm