Women in Politics in Slovenia

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Women in Politics in Slovenia

With the upcoming elections in Slovenia we have recieved some questions from our users about women's political participation in Slovenia. We received questions about whether having more women in government makes a difference for other women, especially since Slovenia has a female Prime Minister? To what extent have gender quotas been effective and have there been any other notable good practices in increasing women’s political participation ? Finally, is there a discrepancy in levels of women’s political participation at the European, national and local levels? Where do women find more challenges?

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sonja lokar's picture

In the outgoing government, Slovenia has just one woman minister. the highest number previously reached was 5 during the period between 2008 and 2011. Regarding quotas, Slovenia has constitutional provisions for gender equality on electoral lists, stipulating 35%-40% quotas for men and women in all elections. Over the past 20 years, Slovenia has had between 7.8%-14% women MPs but only in the last outgoing parliament that number reached 33%. Several parties also have voluntary quotas for party organs and party lists but none respect it completely. Additionally, a special government decree was issued that a candidate from the less represented sex, if in possession of the same qualifications, must be nominated to all government bodies until at 40% parity level is achieved. However, this is also not strictly implemented.

Apart from quotas, among the most important good practices in Slovenia is the establishment of two big parity coalitions repeating running parallel electoral campaigns before each round of elections (since 2002).

Whether having more women in government is better for other women depends on the political color of the government as well as the level of awareness and commitment of respective women ministers to issues of gender equality. We have had very bad and very good experiences in this regard.

The best level of women's representation for Slovenia is at the European Parliament where 37% of Slovenian MPs are women. On the national level this goes down to 33% and further down on the local level where women represent 23%. I believe that the challeneges faced by women across all three domains are similar.