Quotas and Intersectionality: Ethnicity and Gender in Candidate Selection

  • Citation: Celis, Karen, Silvia Erzeel, Liza Mugge, and Alyt Damstra. “Quotas and Intersectionality: Ethnicity and Gender in Candidate Selection.” International Political Science Review 35, no. 1 (2014).
    • Topics:
    • Movements for Inclusion
    • Keywords:
    • candidate selection
    • ethnicity
    • gender
    • gender quotas
    • intersectionality
    • political representation

Gender equality is not fully realised when it is restricted to ethnic majority men and women. This article examines how gender quotas as a form of equality policy affect ethnic minority groups, in particular, the gender balance among ethnic minority candidates for political office. Our analysis focuses on the selection of ethnic minority candidates in Belgium, where legally binding quotas exist, and in the Netherlands, where they do not. Drawing on 23 interviews with central actors in four main parties in each country, we find that the process of ethnic minority candidate selection is highly gendered: in both countries, ethnic minority women are represented in larger numbers than ethnic minority men. But gender quotas play a lesser role in this than the more general concern for diversity on electoral lists, the institutionalisation of gender/ethnicity within political parties and the strategic choices of party leaders.