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The Quota Debate In The Czech Republic and Post-Communist Legacy

Lenka Hrbkov√°
Masaryk University

Zuzana Fellegi
Anglo-American University

Most countries around the world currently use some type of legislative or voluntary party quotas to increase the descriptive representation of women. However, despite the low representation of women in parliament (20%) and three unsuccessful legislative proposals, the Czech Republic has never adopted any legal quota mechanism and all relevant political parties are reluctant to use voluntary party quotas. The aim of this paper is to present the arguments used against quotas and to explain the reasons for these attitudes. Specifically, we examine arguments about quotas based on elite attitudes extracted by media coverage analysis from 1995 to the present and interviews with 28 Czech politicians from parliamentary parties between 2018 and 2021. We found that most politicians, and even most women, do not support quotas. Thirty years after the fall of communist regime, the Czechia, like many post-communist countries, is resistant to the electoral gender quota. This article aims to map the arguments used in the quota debate and to link research findings to specific historical and political experiences that could provide an important insight into quota reluctance in other post-communist countries.



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