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Croatia : EWL in support of Women’s Network of Croatia - New quota proposals, but where is the zipper-system?

[Zagreb, 5 November 2014] Press Release by EWL Croatian Members. The Deputy Club of the Social Democratic Party placed into parliamentary procedure the Proposal of Changes to the Election of Members of Croatian Parliament Act. The proposal will be discussed in the Croatian Parliament next week, during the 15th session of the Parliament. The Women’s Network of Croatia welcomes introducing positive measures for gender equality that prescribe that at least 40% of candidates should be of one gender, in accordance with the positive Gender Equality Act.

We welcome that this Proposal prescribes that lists of candidates that don’t contain at least 40% of women or 40% of men will not be accepted. However, the Women’s Network of Croatia expresses its concern that the proposed system of quota does not include the so called «zipper quota» system, representation on candidate lists in order: woman-man-woman-man. Therefore, the intention and sincerity of the proposal is questionable. It seems that quotas are being introduced only to satisfy the form and not with the aim of introducing real parity democracy.

This kind of quota can not fulfill its purpose because the political parties are left with possibility of placing women at the end of their lists and that is exactly what happens in practice. The result of this is that representation of women in Croatian Parliament is far less than 40% and this is a disgrace since women constitute 52% of the population.

Proposed system of quota will not have positive results in practice. Representation of women in the Croatian Parliament will not increase.
The Women’s Network of Croatia advocates introducing of positve measures for gender equality since representative democracy was introduced. Women should not be at the end of candidate lists, what can very easily happen in this kind of insufficient system of quota that is proposed by the Proposal of Changes to Election of Members of Croatian Parliament Act.

We call upon the intitiave-takers and the Croatian Parliament to amend the Proposal to introduce obligation that male and female candidates appear alternately on lists, so that the principle of equal representation will be respected in decision making bodies.
Women’s Network will send it’s proposal of amendments to all deputy clubs and relevant committees in Croatian Parliament and the Ombudswoman for Gender Equality.

No modern democracy without gender equality!

The European Women’s Lobby wishes to express its support for this call in order to achieve real gender equality in the Croatian Parliament.

For Women’s Network of Croatia


  • Sanja Juras
  • Đurđica Kolarac
  • Mirjana Kučer
  • Biserka Momčinović
  • Nela Pamuković

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