July 2019

Women in Elections: Hurdle Race

The Ukrainian Women’s Fund in partnership with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) has been engaged in gender monitoring of the early parliamentary elections in Ukraine on July 21, 2019.

On the eve of elections, the most complete and relevant data on participation of female candidates were compiled. In total, 5 830 candidates took part in the elections – 1 315 women (23%) and 4 515 men (77%). Although the number of female candidates is lower, they are not less motivated to participate in the elections – taking into account the share of registered candidates, women refuse to participate in elections less frequently.

The lists and candidates nominated in single mandate constituencies by 10 parties that have high rating and/or regional support were analyzed. The 10 parties are Batkivshchyna, Civic Position, Golos, European Solidarity, Opposition Platform – For Life, Opposition Bloc, Radical Party of Oleh Liashko, Samopomich, Power and Honor, and Servant of the People.

As a result, it was established that 4 out of 10 parties did not observe the quota. For instance, Golos had 28% women on their party list, Civic Position – 24%, European Solidarity – 29%, Power and Honor – 24%.

Batkivshchyna (30%), Opposition Bloc (38%), Opposition Platform – For Life (33%), Radical Party of Oleh Liashko (41%), Samopomich (35%), and Servant of the People (33%) fulfilled the norm.

At the same time, even those parties that complied with the quotas often placed women on positions that were hardly likely to win a seat in parliament. There are twice less women in the first half of the lists then in the second half.

Out of six parties that observed the quota, only Samopomich has over 30% women in the first half of the list.

The Servant of the People party nominated only 11% women in the first half of the list, Opposition Platform – For Life – 16%, Civic Position – 20%, Batkivshchyna and Power and Honor –21% each.

As to the rest of the parties – Golos had 24% women in the first half of the list, Opposition Bloc and Radical Party of Oleh Liashko – 29% each, European Solidarity and Samopomich had 30% and 32% respectively.

The number of female candidates in single mandate constituencies is by a half lower than the number of women on party lists, only 16%.

If we look at the candidates nominated by ten parties, the western region of Ukraine is lagging behind with only 13% women among the candidates. The leaders of the negative rating are Zakarpatska oblast (3%) and Volynska oblast (0%). The situation in the South and in the East is somewhat better. Leading regions are the Center and the North although the number is not high there as well, only 20%. Women are best represented in Kyiv city (26%) and in Cherkaska oblast (27%). Thus, it is expected that very few women will be elected in single mandate constituencies.

Formal compliance with the quotas in the party lists of candidates is not sufficient for ensuring representation of women at the level of 30% among the candidates elected on party lists and in general in the Verkhovna Rada. 

The Ukrainian Women’s Fund pays great attention to the actual opportunities for equal participation of women and men in parliamentary elections. The parties play a key role in achieving more balanced representation of women in the election process and in politics. Out of 5 830 candidates participating in the elections, 4 150 were nominated by parties. Those candidates who have resource support from the parties have higher chances to be elected. Therefore, parties can contribute to achieving at least 30% representation of womenwho account for 54% of the population of Ukrainein the Verkhovna Rada.

Gender monitoring will form the basis for a dialogue with political parties about positive actions for achieving gender equality!

Further information can be found in the text of the statement and infographics available at the link.

For more detailed information, contact the Communication Manager of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund, Mykola Yabchenko (+380672905501) or the Project Coordinator, Milena Goryachkovska (+380503101364).


Infographics #1: "Women in the candidates' list"


Infographics #2: "Women in the candidates' list" the top and the bottom"


Infographics #3: "Women in single-mandate constituencies"


Infographics #4: "Women in single-mandate constituencies"



Files to download:

1) Statement

2) Press-release

3) Infographics

See also

August 2019
After official posting of election results the UWF experts have summarized the final data about representation of MPs of the IX convocation broken down by gender, as well as women’s participation in the election process in general.
February 2019
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January 2019
NGOs representatives from Vinnytsya, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts learned about reporting requirements of the Ukrainian Women's Fund, agreed on communication within the project to ensure broad coverage of all projects that will be implemented in 5 oblasts.