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Does Non-Quota Strategy Matter? A Comparative Study on Candidate Selection and Women’s Representation at the Local Level in Germany

August 2019

Florian Ruf


This study analyzed the effectiveness of various strategies German political parties used in local elections to achieve women’s representation on the ballot. The study focused mainly on strategies other than gender quotas, as non-quota methods have been studied less in this field. The study found that non-quota methods (such as establishing women’s sections within the party, mentoring programs, and party targets to increase equality) do, in fact, increase the likelihood of women being nominated on party tickets. It also found that female representation is better when party gatekeepers are women.

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Policy Implications

This article states that more female gatekeepers are necessary in politics in order to increase the share of women nominated by political parties. In other words, traditionally male-dominated recruitment networks need to become more gender-balanced. Additionally, parties should make intentional efforts via non-quota strategies to increase the number of women that they nominate and to encourage women to want to run.

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