- Wingreen, Emma [Browse]
- Senior thesis
- Katz, Stanley N. [Browse]
- Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
- Princeton University. Program in Latin American Studies [Browse]
- Class year
- Summary note
- In 1991, Argentina became the first country in Latin America, and in the entire world, to adopt a legislative gender quota. Over the next two decades, fifteen other countries in Latin America adopted similar quotas. Most recently, in 2015, Chile adopted a legislative quota that will go into effect in November 2017. The legislative quotas adopted throughout Latin America have had varying success due to differences in their provisions. Quotas that have high minimum thresholds, strict placement mandates, and strong enforcement mechanisms tend to be more successful at increasing the number of women appearing on party ballots and at increasing the number of women elected to Congress.
Chile’s gender quota, which will be implemented for the first time in the upcoming Congressional elections, was passed as part of a larger electoral reform project that eliminated Chile’s unique binomial system. This thesis evaluates the potential effect of the gender quota with respect to increasing the number of women nominated to party ballots and elected to the Chilean National Congress. Because Chile’s quota was adopted as a single provision within a set of electoral reforms, it is important to also consider the effect of these other provisions on increasing female representation.
This thesis predicts the electoral outcome of Chile’s legislative quota using comparative analyses of quotas adopted in Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil, as well as research on Chile’s previous binomial system. It reaches the conclusion that Chile’s quota will likely be successful at increasing the number of female candidates nominated to party ballots, but will have only limited success at increasing the number of women elected to Congress. As such, this thesis offers recommendations for actions that can be taken by legislators, political parties, and civil society to increase the number of women appearing on party ballots, the number of women elected to office, and the amount of legislation passed that relates to women’s issues.