If the object of implementing quotas is to achieve
gender equality, then by increasing the number of female representatives’ numbers, quotas are successful because quotas
have been seen as one way to dilute male privilege. However, if the objective is to achieve a feminist agenda, and to decrease gender gaps in other areas such as health,
education, labor force etc, then quotas are only a starting point for reform.
Previous research indicates that an increase in
the number of female representatives alone will not make a significant difference in policy initiatives and political goals.
According to Pupavac, when Bosnia implemented a party-list quota of 30%, the mechanism was successful in increasing the number
of women in parliament and creating greater gender balance in Bosnian politics, but not in the broader social context affecting
ordinary women. Her research concluded that “Quota measures risk ossifying representation, institutionalizing the position of quota
representatives and insulating them from the need to galvanize popular support and address the core concerns of their constituencies.”
Scholars also question the efficacy of implementing quotas in political systems
that lack political power or legitimacy. For most of its post-independence, Sudan has been under authoritarian or semi-authoritarian rule, led by alternating military
dictatorships and elected rule by Islamists. In authoritarian regimes like Sudan, the role of the legislature is often diminished
and marginalized to a body with “rubber-stamping” authority. Therefore, it is unknown whether reserved seat quotas
can have a significant impact at all.
Authoritarian rule in Sudan:
Without an effective parliament in place, can women’s inclusion in the political structure
can make a difference?
Pupavac, Vanessa (2005). “Empowering Women? An Assessment of International
Gender Policies in Bosnia.” International Peacekeeping. Volume 12, Number
Tripp, Aili Mari and Alice Kang (2008). “The Global Impact of Quotas On
the Fast Track to Increased Female Legislative Representation.” Comparative Political