Majority of female MPs secured seats without gender quota

Most future female MPs, after the October 6 parliamentary elections, have secured seats in the Kosovo Assembly without needing the gender quota.

The law on gender equality in Kosovo provides that 40 percent of women must be included in decision-making positions and that 30 percent of Kosovo’s legislators must be women.

Albert Krasniqi, a political commentator, wrote in a Facebook post that only 13 out of 39 female MPs will use the gender quota after the recent elections.

He added that the gender quota is gradually losing its importance. “The time has come to consider a gender quota in the list of candidates 50/50,” Krasniqi suggested.

He also noted that all Vetevendosje female MPs have secured seats in the new Assembly based on the votes they won in the elections.

From the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), nine female MPs have secured seats from their votes, and two MPs will join the new Assembly through the gender quota. From the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), eight female MPs have secured seats from their votes and another six through the gender quota. From the AAK – PSD coalition, four female MPs have secured seats from their votes and five from the gender quota. 

Arberesha Loxha, Executive Director of the Prishtina-based Group for Legal and Political Studies, told the news website that female MPs securing seats without needing the gender quota highlights the growing political power among women.

“In a way, this shows that voters are viewing as an advantage voting for women and the contribution they can bring to the Assembly and the institutions, and not necessarily only because of the quota. I still believe that the gender quota must remain in force for several reasons: Kosovo is a young democracy, we don’t have a high level of awareness among the political parties about the role and contribution of women in representation in the parties and the institutions,” she added.

Eugen Cakolli from the Kosovo Democratic Institute said there is a growing trend of female MPs that win mandates without needing the gender quota. He added that although the gender quota might seem discriminating in some respects, it should remain in force at least for several other rounds of elections.

“The growing trend … shows there is cultural and civic emancipation among Kosovo voters, who have overcome gender barriers or stereotypes that once existed in our society. We are however still far from a satisfactory quota of women representation in the institutions,” he added.