Quotas and ballots: The impact of positive action policies on women's representation in Indonesia

Aditya Perdana, Benjamin Hillman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article examines the impact of the legal candidate quota for women in Indonesia following the 2019 general elections. It argues that the legal candidate quota is working to increase women's numerical representation, even if progress is gradual and hard won. Second, it has become clear that the position of candidates on party lists is critical for electoral success. Awareness of this issue empowers women candidates and activists to lobby political parties to improve women's positions on party lists as a demonstration of political parties' commitment to gender equality. A third observation is that the turnover of women parliamentarians remains high, which means women still struggle to build careers as legislators and to effect legislative change in the interests of women. The article also addresses the role of political parties in selecting and promoting a minimum of 30% women candidates and argues that party structures are an obstacle, especially party organisations that purport to promote women's issues. Findings from this study suggest that Indonesia does not need major electoral reform to strengthen women's numerical representation in parliament. However, women candidates will need more support from political parties if they are to win and retain more seats.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158-170
    JournalAsia & The Pacific Policy Studies
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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