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Title: Policy Research: Factors in Declining Women’s Political Representation in Parliament and the Intervention Made Prior and Post the General Election 2014
Authors: Pheni Chalid
Lanny Octavia
Isniati Kuswini
Keywords: Policy research;Women’s political;Intervention
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Women's participation and representation in decision making bodies at executive and legislative levels has been reflecting one of a long process of women’s struggle in the public sphere1. In the first democratic election in 1999, women compriseonly 8% of the 500 members of the national parliament. When gender quota legislation was introduced in the next election in 2004, with no sanctions for non-compliance, women’s proportion increased slightly to 11.3% of the 550 members. In 2009, wherein the failure in meeting the 30% women quota disqualifies the political parties, women only constituted 18% votes in the national parliament (103 from 560), or one-third out of the total population of women. General Election 2014 brought expectation on increasing women representation in legislative and more concern at the same time. Since the open list proportional representation system was introduced shortly prior the 2009 GE, wherein the candidates and the constituents were not familiar with this new system that relied on the most votes. In 2014 GE, the candidates and the constituents were aware with the system that was stipulated in the Law No. 8/2012 on the Election of Members of DPR, DPD, and DPRD. The Law No. 8/2012 was announcedwithin2 years to polling day. Nevertheless, the consequences of Proportional Representation Open List Electoral System delivered a very tight competition among legislative candidates within the same political party as well as cross-parties. The 30% women quota was ineffective in such election process, as both male and female candidates faced “free market” competition (without affirmation) to win the most votes. In fact, women quota was endorsed more significantly by General Elections Commission’s regulation No 7/2013 that requires ‘the list candidates for MP to contain at least 30% of women’s representation in each electoral district’, and that ‘at least 1 in every 3 candidates included on a political party list should be a woman’. Political parties that do not meet the requirement are disqualified from submitting a list in the electoral district where the quota is not met.3 However overall political situation brought differently to the decline of women representation on 2014 legislative election.
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