The Ukrainian Women’s Fund (UWF) in partnership with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) has been engaged in gender monitoring of the 2019 early parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
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.
According to the data provided by the Central Election Commission, 337 men (79.5%) and 87 (20.5%) women were elected to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Such level remains non-representative, since women account for 54% of the population of Ukraine but it is still a step forward compared to all previous convocations of the Verkhovna Rada.
60 women (27%) out of 225 members of the Verkhovna Rada who were on the lists of political parties of Ukraine were elected in the multi-mandate constituency.
Formalistic observing gender quotas with regard to election lists (when women were included in the second part of the list) resulted in a failure to ensure the 30% level of representation of women among the elected MPs. At the same time, those parties that ensured the most equal distribution of places in the first half of their election lists came close to gender balance among the elected MPs.
27 (14%) women out of 199 MPs were elected in single-mandate constituencies. In terms of regional breakdown, representation of the elected candidates is unbalanced. In eight oblasts of Ukraine, there is not a single woman among the elected candidates.
Election results in single mandate constituencies prove that stereotypes about the MP’s gender did not affect the voters. The share of women elected in the constituencies is proportional to the share of female-candidates.
Two parties will receive additional financing from the state budget for ensuring more balanced representation of women and men in the Verkhovna Rada – the European Solidarity and Golos. In addition to this, state funding will be distributed on general terms among ten parties that received minimum 2% of votes in the nationwide constituency. At present, there is no mechanism encouraging the parties that will receive state funding to use part of this money for ensuring equal participation of women and men in public and political activities and making socially important decisions after the elections.
Women were more involved in the election process than men at all levels except for nomination of candidates.
58% of women were official observers from civil society organizations, 59% - were members of district election commissions, and 61% - were official observers and authorized persons of political parties. Wide involvement of women at the responsible positions of authorized persons of the parties as well as official observers from parties and civil society organizations can be a sign both of women’s high level of interest in public and political life and of political parties’ recognition of professional qualities and commitment of women to the interests of respective parties. Although the level of nominating women as candidates by the parties (23%) did not correspond to the level of women’s involvement to protecting the party’s interests during elections.
The Ukrainian Women’s Fund calls upon the political parties to employ women’s potential for further party development and to involve women who participated in the elections in training of candidates for local elections. When preparing the election lists for local elections, to ensure equal distribution of places in the upper and in the lower parts of the lists among female and male candidates.
The Ukrainian Women’s Fund also calls upon using of a part of state financing received both as encouragement for ensuring representation of each gender in the Verkhovna Rada at the level of minimum 30%, and on general terms for programmatic activities aimed at promoting gender equality policy inside the parties, involving, training and supporting female leaders.
Further information can be found in the text of the statement and infographics.
For more detailed information, contact the Communication Manager of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund, Mykola Yabchenko (+380672905501) or the Projects Coordinator, Milena Goryachkovska (+380503101364).
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