Introduction: gender parity and quotas in european politics
Since the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which clearly endorsed measures to ensure the equal participation of women in decision-making, many nations across the globe have adopted and implemented laws requiring political parties to nominate gender-balanced slates of candidates. This symposium brings together new research on the fairly recent gender quota and parity reforms in Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain and the efforts of the European Union to promote them. In keeping with the single-case, comparative, and international gender quota literature, the articles stress the role of domestic and international actors/factors (political parties and elites, women's groups active inside and/or outside political parties, and international and European organizations) in the adoption of reforms as well as the reforms' specific provisions (placement rules and sanctions for non-compliance) and how well they fit in with the electoral system when assessing their impact. At the same time, the articles also offer intriguing insights related to the labelling of reforms as either ‘parity’ or ‘quota’ or both in different contexts, the involvement of different political parties in their adoption, and, finally, their qualitative upshots and, more specifically, their impact on citizens and elites' attitudes towards women in politics and measures to enhance it.