Political quotas have played a crucial role in helping women increase their political representation in Latin America and in the Dominican Republic specifically. These gender-specific political quotas are a direct application of gender and equality laws established in the Dominican Republic (Jiménez 133). Quotas have helped increase women’s political representation by setting aside a section of representative seats and leadership positions specifically for women to increase their involvement in political activities (Marrero 21). In these seats, women can be dominated or elected, thus increasing the urge of women to take part in politics, a field that for a long time has been dominated by men.
Quotas assure protection to women who are yearning to get into politics. Here, it gets assumed women in society are target groups for social injustices given that their gender roles do not extend to the world of politics (Corrêa et al. 66). The victimization of women by their male counterparts results in women being recessive and dormant that they cannot take part in any political and leadership activities (Kumar 78). Due to lack of protection, women prefer not to engage in politics since they are subjected to threats, labeling, or in the worst cases, unlawfully handled (Piatti-Crocker 47). Thus quotas ensure these women get protection, which reflects constitutional statutes.
Though quotas in politics are applied in the Dominican Republic, obstacles are inhibiting their effectiveness. One obstacle is cultural and social traditions whereby these aspects have been embedded within the country where men traditionally dominate the public sphere (Archenti and Tula, 31). The tradition of machismo deeply inculcated in the Roman-Catholic beliefs concentrates on political parties and electoral institutions, constraining women from the political rights expected from the quotas (Došek et al. 32). The racists’ birthright- candidate tradition has sabotaged the effective application of quotas by compromising the party and electoral system as a strategy to segregate women from leadership positions.
The weak distribution of seats in the district of small and middle magnitude is an institutional barrier to the effective implementation of quotas because of the lack of systems dictating the percentile of women candidates to be elected in each district. We see the deficiency of these rules in the closed party-list proportional representation and candidate-centered voting systems (Muñoz-Pogossian and Finn 167). However, the stipulated quotas cannot influence legislation in parliament where women get segregated from legislative committees like housing, female affairs, education, youth, and family issues (Escobar-Lemmon et al. 99). This has resulted in women representatives having minor influence in male-controlled sections.
The application of quotas in the U.S. would increase women’s political representation in the country. This would create an opportunity for women to take part in political activities, a core intention of the quotas (Hinojosa and Kittilson 23). Women’s involvement in politics would help the formation or rectification of laws, specifically gender rules, by providing perspective on issues affecting women (Bu’Tu et al. 1842). This would enable more women willing to do politics as a career to take part, thus the increase of women in political dockets to satisfy gender equality in the country.
Considering gender equality, quotas would help in reducing gender inequality by encouraging more women to run for political dockets. In these dockets, women would have the power to make reforms addressing issues of male dominance in institutions that are centers of women’s empowerment (Kent 57). However, quotas would not entirely reduce gender inequality since other factors undermine gender equality which the establishment of political quotas cannot satisfy.
Archenti, Nélida, and María Inés Tula. “Critical Challenges of Quotas and Parity in Latin America.” Women, Politics, and Democracy in Latin America. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2017. 29-44.
Bu’Tu, Dorce, et al. “Women Activists to Demand Women’s Positions in Politics.” European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine vol.7, no.11, 2020, pp. 1837-1844.
Corrêa, Diego Sanches, and Vanilda Souza Chaves. “Gender Quotas and Placement Mandates in Open and Closed Lists: Similar Effects, Different Mechanisms.” Electoral Studies 66 (2020): 102157.
Došek, Tomáš, et al., eds. Women, Politics, and Democracy in Latin America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
Escobar-Lemmon, Maria C., and Kendall D. Funk. “Women’s Representation in Subnational Governments.” Gender and representation in Latin America (2018): 99.
Hinojosa, Magda, and Miki Caul Kittilson. Seeing Women, Strengthening Democracy: How Women in Politics Foster Connected Citizens. Oxford University Press, USA, 2020.
Jiménez Polanco, Jacqueline. “Women’s Quotas in the Dominican Republic: Advances and Detractions.” Diffusion of Gender Quotas in Latin America and Beyond, 2011, pp. 130-151.
Kent, Lauren G. “Do Women Advance Women? A Study of Female Representation in Latin America.” (2017).
Kumar, Dr. “Participation of Women in Politics: Worldwide Experience.” IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) 22.12 (2017): 77-88.
Marrero, Yisbell Lucia. “Women’s Empowerment in the Dominican Republic.” (2020).
Muñoz-Pogossian, Betilde, and Tyler Finn. “Women in Elections: Identifying Strategies to Promote Greater Electoral Competitiveness.” Women, Politics, and Democracy in Latin America. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2017. 165-186.
Piatti-Crocker, Adriana. “The Diffusion of Gender Policy in Latin America: From Quotas to Parity.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 20.6 (2019): 44-59.