Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-559fc8cf4f-rz424 Total loading time: 0.517 Render date: 2021-02-25T16:50:54.275Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Peace Accords and the Adoption of Electoral Quotas for Women in the Developing World, 1990–2006

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2014

Miriam J. Anderson
Memorial University
Liam Swiss
Memorial University
E-mail address:


The high percentage of women in Rwanda's parliament is well known. At 64%, it scores far above the world average of about 22% (IPU 2013). Rather than an anomaly, Rwanda is representative of many postconflict developing countries that feature women's political representation at above-average levels. A frequently identified correlate of this heightened representation has been the presence of electoral quotas for women (Bush 2011; Fallon, Swiss, and Viterna 2012; Paxton, Hughes, and Painter 2010). More generally, the role of societal rupture and transitions from conflict to peace or from authoritarianism to democracy have been a focus of gender and politics research in recent years (Fallon, Swiss, and Viterna 2012; Hughes 2007; 2009; Hughes and Paxton 2007; Viterna and Fallon 2008). Within such transitions, the role of women's participation has been identified as a key determinant of more beneficial posttransition outcomes for women (Viterna and Fallon 2008). Peace processes and the accords that they yield represent a mechanism through which transition and women's rights become linked and theoretically hold the potential to shape postconflict societies. However, the link between women's involvement in peace processes and the subsequent adoption of electoral quotas has not been explored. In this article, we seek to answer the question: What is the relationship between postconflict transition, peace processes, and quota adoption? To this end, we examine the role played by peace accords and, more specifically, accords with a focus on women's rights in leading countries to adopt electoral quotas for women.

Research Article
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.


All-Party Burundi Women's Peace Conference. 2001. “Final Declaration.” In Engendering Peace: Reflections on the Burundi Peace Process, eds. Burke, Enid D., Klot, Jennifer, and Bunting, Ikaweba. Kenya: UNIFEM.Google Scholar
Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi. 2000. “Women at the Peace Table: Making a Difference.” In Peace Book, eds. Lamptey, Comfort and Sidhu, Gretchen. New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women.Google Scholar
Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi. 2007. Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why It Matters. London: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
Anderson, Miriam J. 2010. “Transnational Feminism and Norms in Peace Processes: The Cases of Burundi and Northern Ireland.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 4 (1): 121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, Miriam J. 2011. “Gender and Peacemaking: Women's Rights in Contemporary Peace Agreements.” In Peacemaking: A Comprehensive Theory and Practice Reference, eds. Bartoli, Andrea, Nan, Susan Allen, and Mampilly, Zachariah. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International, Vol. 2, 344–77.Google Scholar
Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi. 2000. In UCDP Peace Agreement Dataset v. 1.0, 1989–2005, refd in Lotta Harbom, Stina Högbladh, and Peter Wallensteen. 2006. “Armed Conflict and Peace Agreements.” Journal of Peace Research 43 (5): 617–51.Google Scholar
Ballington, Julie, and Dahlerup, Drude. 2006. “Gender Quotas in Postconflict States: East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.” In Women, Quotas and Politics, ed. Dahlerup, Drude. London: Routledge. 249–58.Google Scholar
Bauer, Gretchen. 2008. “Fifty/Fifty by 2020: Electoral Gender Quotas for Parliament in East and Southern Africa.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 10 (3): 348–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bauer, Gretchen, and Britton, Hannah E., eds. 2006. Women in African Parliaments. London: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
Blossfeld, Hans-Peter, and Rohwer, Gotz. 2002. Techniques of Event History Modeling : New Approaches to Causal Analysis. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
Burke, Enid D., Klot, Jennifer, and Bunting, Ikaweba. 2001. Engendering Peace: Reflections on the Burundi Peace Process. Nairobi: UNIFEM.Google Scholar
Burnet, Jennie E. 2012. Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda. Madison: University of Wisconin Press.Google Scholar
Bush, Sarah S. 2011. “International Politics and the Spread of Quotas for Women in Legislatures.” International Organization 65 (1): 103–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carrillo, Ana Lorena, and Chinchilla, Norma Stoltz. 2010. “From Urban Elite to Peasant Organizing.” In Women's Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean: Engendering Social Justice, Democratizing Citizenship, eds. Maier, Elizabeth and Lebon, Nathalie. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers, 140–58.Google Scholar
Chen, Li-Ju. 2010. “Do Gender Quotas Influence Women's Representation and Policies?” European Journal of Comparative Economics 7 (1): 1360.Google Scholar
Chinkin, Christine. 2003. “Gender, Human Rights, and Peace Agreements.” Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 18 (3): 867–86.Google Scholar
Cleves, Mario A., Gould, William W., and Gutierrez, Roberto G.. 2002. An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata. College Station, TX: Stata Press.Google Scholar
Dahlerup, Drude, ed. 2006. Women, Quotas and Politics. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Fallon, Kathleen M., Swiss, Liam, and Viterna, Jocelyn. 2012. “Resolving the Democracy Paradox: Democratization and Women's Legislative Representation in Developing Nations, 1975–2009.” American Sociological Review 77 (3): 380408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fearon, Kate. 1999. Women's Work: The Story of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.Google Scholar
Franceschet, Susan, Krook, Mona Lena, and Piscopo, Jennifer M., eds. 2012. The Impact of Gender Quotas. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fuest, Veronika. 2008. “‘This Is the Time to Get in Front’: Changing Roles and Opportunities for Women in Liberia.” African Affairs 107 (427): 201–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gleditsch, Nils Petter, Wallensteen, Peter, Eriksson, Mikael, Sollenberg, Margareta, and HåStrand, vard. 2002. “Armed Conflict 1946–2001: A New Dataset.” Journal of Peace Research 39 (5): 615–37.Google Scholar
Harbom, Lotta, Högbladh, Stina, and Wallensteen, Peter. 2006. “Armed Conflict and Peace Agreements.” Journal of Peace Research 43 (5): 617–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hassim, Shireen. 2006. Women's Organizations and Democracy in South Africa: Contesting Authority. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
Heston, Alan, Summers, Robert, and Aten, Bettina. 2011. “Penn World Tables 7.0.” Available from (accessed November 20, 2013).Google Scholar
Hironaka, Ann. 2002. “The Globalization of Environmental Protection: The Case of Environmental Impact Assessment.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 43 (1): 6578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hughes, Melanie M. 2007. “Windows of Political Opportunity: Institutional Instability and Gender Inequality in the World's National Legislatures.” International Journal of Sociology 37 (4): 2651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hughes, Melanie M. 2009. “Armed Conflict, International Linkages, and Women's Parliamentary Representation.” Social Problems 56 (1): 174204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hughes, Melanie M. 2011. “Intersectionality, Quotas, and Minority Women's Political Representation Worldwide.” American Political Science Review 105 (3): 604–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hughes, Melanie M., and Paxton, Pamela. 2007. “Familiar Theories from a New Perspective: The Implications of a Longitudinal Approach to Women in Politics Research.” Politics & Gender 3 (3): 370–78.Google Scholar
Hunt Alternatives Fund. 2012. “Luz Mendez.” (accessed September 3, 2013).Google Scholar
Hunt, Swanee, and Posa, Cristina. 2001. “Women Waging Peace.” Foreign Policy 124: 3847.Google Scholar
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). “Electoral System Design Database.” (accessed November 20, 2013).Google Scholar
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). “Voter Turnout Database.” (accessed November 20, 2013).Google Scholar
Interim Constitution Post-Transition of the Republic of Burundi. 2004. Articles 64 and 129.Google Scholar
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). 1995. “Women in Parliaments: 1945–1995.” In Secondary Women in Parliaments: 1945–1995. Geneva: IPU. (accessed December 2, 2013).Google Scholar
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). 2012. “Women in Parliaments: World and Regional Averages (Statistical Archive).” (accessed November 20, 2013).Google Scholar
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). 2013. “Women in Parliaments: World and Regional Averages (Statistical Achive).” (accessed November 25, 2013).Google Scholar
Jacob, Suraj, Scherpereel, John A., and Adams, Melinda. 2013. “Gender Norms and Women's Political Representation: A Global Analysis of Cabinets, 1979–2009.” Governance. (accessed Dec. 2, 2013).Google Scholar
Jaquette, Jane, ed. 1989. The Women's Movement in Latin America: Feminism and the Transition to Democracy. Boston, MA: Unwin-Hyman.Google Scholar
Jessen, Lone. 2009. “Women and Peace Making: Realizing the Vision of Security Council Resolution 1325 in the Peacemaking Work of the United Nations' Department of Political Affairs.” (accessed September 3, 2013).Google Scholar
Kenworthy, Lane, and Malami, Melissa. 1999. “Gender Inequality in Political Representation: A Worldwide Comparative Analysis.” Social Forces 78 (1): 235–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kreutz, Joakim. 2005. “Armed Conflict Termination Dataset Codebook: Version 1.0.” Uppsala Conflict Data Program: Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University Uppsala, Sweden.Google Scholar
Krook, Mona Lena. 2004. “Gender Quotas as a Global Phenomenon: Actors and Strategies in Quota Adoption.” European Political Science 3 (3): 5965.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krook, Mona Lena. 2006. “Reforming Representation: The Diffusion of Candidate Gender Quotas Worldwide.” Politics & Gender 2 (3): 303–27.Google Scholar
Krook, Mona Lena. 2009. Quotas for Women in Politics: Gender and Candidate Selection Reform Worldwide. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krook, Mona Lena, O'Brien, Diana Z., and Swip, Krista M.. 2010. “Military Invasion and Women's Political Representation: Gender Quotas in Postconflict Afghanistan and Iraq.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 12 (1): 6578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
López Robles, Claudia V. 2008. “Mujeres y Participación En Los Partidos Políticos: Entre Instituciones Débiles y Exclusión Por Género.” In Del Dicho Al Hecho: Manual De Buenas Practicas Para La Participación De Mujeres En Los Partidos Políticos Latinoamericanos, eds. Llanos, Beatriz and Sample, Kristen. Stockholm: International IDEA.Google Scholar
Mabobori, Catherine. 2001. “Case Study Two: Burundi.” In Africa Women's Forum: Women and Conflict Management in Africa: A Report of the 3rd Africa Women's Forum of the Africa Leadership Forum: Tunis, Tunisia, 22–24 January 2001, ed. Aderinwale, Ayodele, Benja-Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria: ALF Publications 4749.Google Scholar
Marshall, Monty G., Jaggers, Keith, and Gurr, Ted R.. 2009. “Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800–2009.” Polity IV. Dataset published online by the Center for Systemic Peace: Scholar
Matland, Richard E. 2006. “Electoral Quotas: Frequency and Effectiveness.” In Women, Quotas and Politics, ed. Dahlerup, Drude. London: Routledge, 275–92.Google Scholar
Noma, Emiko, and Taylor, Laura. “Leading the Way to Peace: Study Guide.” (accessed November 21, 2013).Google Scholar
Pankhurst, Donna. 2002. “Women and Politics in Africa: The Case of Uganda.” Parliamentary Affairs 55 (1): 119–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pascasie, Ndeberi. N.d. “La Femme Et L'approche Participtive En Politique.” Le Renouveau du Burundi.Google Scholar
Paxton, Pamela. 1997. “Women in National Legislatures: A Cross-National Analysis.” Social Science Research 26 (4): 442–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paxton, Pamela, Hughes, Melanie M., and Green, Jennifer L.. 2006. “The International Women's Movement and Women's Political Representation, 1893–2003.” American Sociological Review 71 (6): 898920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paxton, Pamela, Hughes, Melanie M., and Painter, Matthew A.. 2010. “Growth in Women's Political Representation: A Longitudinal Exploration of Democracy, Electoral System and Gender Quotas.” European Journal of Political Research 49 (1): 2552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paxton, Pamela, and Kunovich, Sheri. 2003. “Women's Political Representation: The Importance of Ideology.” Social Forces 82 (1): 87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ramirez, Francisco O., Soysal, Yasemin, and Shanahan, Suzanne. 1997. “The Changing Logic of Political Citizenship: Cross-national Acquisition of Women's Suffrage Rights, 1890 to 1990.” American Sociological Review 62 (5):735–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rehn, Elisabeth, and Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson. 2002. Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts' Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women's Role in Peace-Building. New York: UNIFEM.Google Scholar
Swiss, Liam. 2009. “Decoupling Values from Action: An Event-History Analysis of the Election of Women to Parliament in the Developing World, 1945–90.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 50 (1): 6995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swiss, Liam. 2012. “The Adoption of Women and Gender as Development Assistance Priorities: An Event History Analysis of World Polity Effects.” International Sociology 27 (1): 96119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Themnér, Lotta, and Wallensteen, Peter. 2011. “Armed Conflict, 1946–2010.” Journal of Peace Research 48 (4): 525–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tripp, Aili Mari, Casimiro, Isabel, Kwesiga, Joy, and Mungwa, Alice. 2009. African Women's Movements: Changing Political Landscapes. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Tripp, Aili Mari, and Kang, Alice. 2008. “The Global Impact of Quotas.” Comparative Political Studies 41 (3): 338.Google Scholar
UNIFEM. 2000. Proceedings of the All-Party Burundi Women's Peace Conference. Nairobi: UNIFEM Regional Office for East, Central and Horn of Africa.Google Scholar
Viterna, Jocelyn, and Fallon, Kathleen M.. 2008. “Democratization, Women's Movements, and Gender-Equitable States: A Framework for Comparison.” American Sociological Review 73 (4): 668–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waylen, Georgina. 2006. “Constitutional Engineering: What Opportunities for the Enhancement of Gender Rights?”Third World Quarterly 27 (7): 1209–21.Google Scholar
Waylen, Georgina. 2007. Engendering Transitions: Women's Mobilization, Institutions, and Gender Outcomes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bank, World. 2010. World Development Indicators. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
Wotipka, Christine M., and Ramirez, Francisco O.. 2008. “World Society and Human Rights: An Event History Analysis of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” In The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy, eds. Simmons, Beth A., Dobbin, Frank, and Garrett, Geoffrey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 303–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 59
Total number of PDF views: 368 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th February 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Peace Accords and the Adoption of Electoral Quotas for Women in the Developing World, 1990–2006
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Peace Accords and the Adoption of Electoral Quotas for Women in the Developing World, 1990–2006
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Peace Accords and the Adoption of Electoral Quotas for Women in the Developing World, 1990–2006
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *