This domain refers to gender mainstreaming measures within political parties that have seats in the parliament. Internal organisation and procedures of a gender-sensitive party allow the implementation of rules that aim to assure a gender balanced representation in the party. Explicitly addressing gender equality in party rules, establishing gender quotas for decision-making roles, and the existance of well-functioning women’s wings and/or committees are examples of possible measures. Moreover, the party may assure substantive parity in activities between men and women: for example, parity in numbers of women and men speakers at conventions and other party’s events or in chairing televised meetings.
Gender-sensitive political parties implement specific measures not only in the electoral phase, but also in the post-electoral period to assure gender responsive governance both within the party and the government (e.g. they support gender equality oversight of implemented legislation). Some examples of post-electoral procedures include undertaking a gender-equality assessment, ensuring gender mainstreaming in party policy, ensuring women’s access to vacancies and retention, supporting cross-party networks of women’s caucuses, sensitising party members on gender equality issues and working together with men on equality issues.
Political parties that actively include women at every level and take their participation seriously can benefit from a wide range of positive political effects, such as stronger electoral positions and access to new groups of voters. A number of case studies worldwide has shown that gender-sensitive reforms in political parties’ internal organisation and procedures have increased their support base.
Since the tool focuses on the parliament as an institution, it gives just a general and comprehensive measure of gender-sensitive procedures implemented by political parties. Nevertheless, individual parties differ greatly and, therefore, single party assessments are recommended, in order to have a more detailed picture, and to support gender-oriented institutional transformation of political parties. Specific research and tools are available to parties willing to assess their level of gender-sensitivity, such as the OSCE-ODHIR methodology for Gender Audit of political parties and Electoral Knowledge Network.
Data sources: Political parties’ internal rules and their organisation; information from official websites.