Electoral System and the Development of Female Parliamentary Representation in Indonesia: the Interactive Effects of Open-list PR, District Magnitude, and Multi-party Competition





Published date: 

六月, 2020


Tsai-Wei Sun


From the perspective of political inclusiveness and accountability, how to ensure the adequate participation of women in public affairs and include their interests in the legislative process are important issues in contemporary democracies. Many countries have also tried to increase female representation in politics via various institutional arrangements. Under the global trend toward gender equality, Indonesia has undergone several legal reforms to raise the proportion of female candidates in the People’s Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR) elections in the post-Suharto era. Using data covering the period from 1998 to the 2019 general elections, this paper intends to examine the participation of women as candidates and as elected representatives in the DPR elections, to highlight the candidacy barriers impeding the entry of women into politics, and to discuss the role of electoral systems as a means of increasing women’s political representation in Indonesia. Unlike the traditional theory that the open-list PR will lead to intra-party competition and disadvantage female candidates, in Indonesia within the context of small district magnitude and multi-party competition, open-list PR gives female candidates who are not at the front of the party list a chance to be elected.