Gender Quotas

Gender Quotas in the Post-Communist World: Voice of the Parliamentarians

Edited by Joshua K. Dubrow and Adrianna Zabrzewska

This book was funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (2016/23/B/HS6/03916)

This is a sourcebook on gender quotas in nations that experienced multiple generations of Communist Party rule. We built the book from a variety of sources and disciplines for use in research, teaching, and activism.

This is a free book: Gender Quotas in the Post-Communist World: Voice of the Parliamentarians

We intend for the book to provide an introduction to gender quota policy and, thus, to the cross-national problem of women’s political inequality of voice. This book is a focus on the voice of the parliamentarians whose job it is to write, promote, and enforce the policies that help move society from gender inequality to gender equality. 

Nations with a Communist past have been underrepresented in the English-language scholarship on political representation and gender inequality. This sourcebook presents new and updated information about countries of the world whose women endure political inequality in everyday life yet whose specific plight over the last two decades has been little examined by Western scholars.

Among other sources, this book includes, for the first time, an English language translation of the entire parliamentarian debate in the Poland’s Sejm on the proposed gender quota law in 2010.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Voice, Inequality, and Representation

by Joshua K. Dubrow and Adrianna Zabrzewska

Chapter One: An Introduction to Gender Quotas in Europe 
by Joshua K. Dubrow and Adrianna Zabrzewska

Chapter Two: Women in the Parliaments of the Communist and Post-Communist World, 1945 – 2018
by Joshua K. Dubrow

This chapter takes on the form of a sequence of graphs to trace and compare patterns of women’s representation over the time span of 73 years.

Chapter Three: Electoral Gender Quotas in Post-Communist Countries as of 2019
by Anna Sedysheva (with Joshua K. Dubrow)

Chapter Three describes the state of gender quotas in 29 post-Communist countries. Using a variety of sources, Chapter Three presents which countries adopted national level legislated (i.e. electoral) gender quotas, and which did not. In the case of countries that have no gender quotas whatsoever, Chapter Three reports attempts that have been made at introducing quotas. Our research on all 29 countries is limited by the paucity of English language scholarship on these countries.

Chapter Four: Polish Parliamentarian Arguments on Gender Descriptive Representation in the 1990s
Selected excerpts from Jacek Kurczewski’s Posłowie a opinia publiczna.
Z badań nad przedstawicielstwem w Trzeciej Rzeczpospolitej
[Parliamentarians and public opinion: Research on representation in the Third Polish Republic [1999]
Introduction by Joshua K. Dubrow and Adrianna Zabrzewska
Translated by Jerzyna Słomczyńska and Adrianna Zabrzewska

Originally published in 1999, the study extensively quotes parliamentarians who were part of the Polish Sejm in its first two terms after the end of the Communist rule, that is, the first term of 19909 – 1993 and the second term of 1993 – 1997. During in-depth interviews, parliamentarians were asked to share their opinions on two types of quotas: gender quotas and national minority quotas.

Chapter Five: Debate over Gender Quotas in Poland’s Parliament in 2010
Introduction by Adrianna Zabrzewska
Translated by Anna Purisch

Chapter Five is devoted to the 2010 debate in the Polish Sejm which eventually resulted in the adoption of gender quota law the following year. The debate from a decade ago offers an intimate look into the arguments for and against gender quotas in the post-Communist world. For the first time, English speaking audiences have full access to the three readings of this historic Sejm debate. This is a rare window into the post-Communist world’s longest legislative debate on the introduction of gender quotas.

Chapter Six: Interview with Professor Małgorzata Fuszara
Introduction by Adrianna Zabrzewska
Interview Conducted and Translated by Adrianna Zabrzewska

The translated excerpts of the Sejm debate feature also two speeches delivered during the first reading by Professor Małgorzata Fuszara, and in Chapter Six, we present an interview with Professor Fuszara, which includes her recollections of that legislative debate and her thoughts on the current fight for equality in Poland.

Chapter Seven: Voice, Body, and Gender Quota Politics in Poland 
by Adrianna Zabrzewska

Chapter Seven is devoted to a qualitative analysis of Polish deputies’ opinions on gender quotas as collected during an elite survey of Polish Parliamentarians in 2011. The chapter proposes a new outlook on the subject by adopting a philosophical and feminist perspective not only on Polish gender quota debates, but also on the concept of political voice as such.

Appendix A: POLPARL: Polish Parliamentarian Surveys in 2005 and 2011
by Joshua K. Dubrow

Introduction to Appendices B and C 
by Marcin Ślarzyński

Appendix B: Parliamentarian Opinions about Gender Quotas in 2005 and 2011
by Marcin Ślarzyński

Appendix C: Parliamentarian Opinions about Descriptive Representation in 2005
by Marcin Ślarzyński