Do Quotas Matter ? : Positive Actions in the Belgian Parliament

  • Mercedes Mateo Diaz orcid logo


Belgium has the particularity ofbeing the only EU Member State to have introduced quotas to its legislation. The type of quota which has been implemented is prioritizing the number, without paying attention to how male and female candidates are positioned on the parties' lists. In the article the author examines the evolution of the number of wamen in Belgian Parliament across time. Comparisons are made within and between parties, before and after the law on quotas. The analysis shows that the effect of quotas to a large degree is dependent on the will of parties to obtain more female representatives. Thus, if the major aim of a legislation on quotas is to impose a balanced gender structure in the representatives' assembly, the legislation ought to consider men's and women's positions on the lists.

How to Cite:

Mateo Diaz, M., (2002) “Do Quotas Matter ? : Positive Actions in the Belgian Parliament”, Res Publica 44(1), 49-72. doi:

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Published on
30 Mar 2002
Peer Reviewed