Political Participation and Parliamentary Careers: Women’s Quotas in West Germany

Authored by: Eva Kolinsky

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Political Transitions
Country: Germany
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 1991
Citation: Kolinsky, Eva. "Political Participation and Parliamentary Careers: Women's Quotas in West Germany." West European Politics 14, no. 1 (1991): 56-72.

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Drawing on a survey of women candidates and parliamentary handbooks, this article examines the effects of women's quotas in West German political parties. Since the mid‐1980s, the number of women members in Land parliaments and in the Bundestag increased sharply, in particular for the SPD and Greens. In the CDU and SPD, women require a track‐record of office‐holding before their nomination, while the party organisation carries little weight in FDP and Greens. CDU and FDP women tend to link political success to personality while women in the SPD and Greens look for an end to a male‐dominated party culture. The focus on women appears to favour the academically qualified, especially in the Greens and in the SPD.