Represenation of Women on Electoral Lists: Moldova Study

Analysis of the 2009 Parliamentary Elections based on the data provided by the Central Electoral Commission shows that, in general, the elections were held within a frame­work of respect for democratic values and the entire activity of the Central Electoral Committee was conducted on the basis of respect for the legal framework, including those aspects of it that related to gender equality. An analysis of the lists of candidates for the positions of members of the Moldovan Parliament in the elections held on 5 April 2009 reveals that out of a total of 1,386 persons in the lists, 409 were women. Also, among those six registered independent candidates there were 2 women. Almost the same proportion is maintained on the lists for the early Parliamentary Elections held on 29 July 2009. Thus, of the 996 registered candidates, women 303 or 31.3 percent. During the parliamentary elections on 5 April and 29 July 2009, the proportion of women in the electoral bodies at the level of district electoral councils was 42.3 percent. Forty-six women or 43.8 percent were elected as presidents, vice-presidents or secretaries of district electoral commissions on the second level.

An examination of the last four parliamentary elections held in Moldova shows that each time women were under-represented, their percentage varying from 15.7 percent (1998) to 29 percent (2005). In addition, the following aspects have to be pointed out: i) the percentage of women on the lists registered a continuous increase, marking significant progress since the elections in 1998 to those in 2005, when this figure almost doubled (from 15.7 percent to 29 percent in 2005); ii) in the 5 April 2009 elections the share covered by women on the lists of candidates (12 parties and 5 in­dependent candidates) was of 27.7 percent, slightly lower than the level registered in 2005 (29 percent); iii) in the early elections of 29 July 2009, the proportion of women in the lists increased compared to April, reaching 28.5 percent It was, however, lower than the maximum level registered in 2005. Apparently, the elections held in 2009 did not follow the growing trend of previous years and there was even a fall in the num­ber of women on the candidate lists, suggesting that the enthusiasm for and commit­ment to egalitarian principles have weakened. It should also be pointed out that the position of women in the lists is unfavorable, and as is the case with the proportion of women in the lists, this indicator followed a positive trend in the first three elections, while in 2009 it started to decrease.

In this context, the average position occupied by a man in the list is five to 10 positions nearer the top. This difference had significant evolution. In the 1998 elections the difference was 10 positions (the average position for male candidate was in 46th position and 56 - for women). In the 2001 election, the difference fell to 8 positions, to five 2005, six in April 2009 and 8 in July. Women are almost absent from the top of the lists (first position). In 1998, top positions were occupied by women on the lists of two out of 15 parties, while in 2001 no women headed the lists. In 2005 there was one female leading the list, compared to two in April 2009 and none in July. The percentage of women in the first five positions rose signifi­cantly from 5.3 percent i 1998 to 21.7 percent in April 2009, while in July a decrease was registered again when only 10 percent of the top 5 positions were occupied by women.
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