The Verkhovna Rada of VIII convocation has the greatest number of women MPs in the history of independent Ukraine. Such a conclusionis made by civic non-governmental organisation Committee of Voters of Ukraine based on analysisof election campaigns’results. This year 47 womenare elected to the parliament, which is 11.1% of the total composition.
For comparison, Verkhovna Rada of the previous convocation had 9.9% of women (44 persons), and Verkhovna Rada of the first convocation - only 2.3% (11 persons). In this contextCVU concludes that Ukrainian parliament becomes more balanced. However, it is still far from global practices as on average parliaments of the world have 22% of women MPs, and in Europe this index reaches 25%.
We can univocally assert that single mandate component of the election system with high competition, which sometimes turns into various abuses and violations of the law, does not contribute to election of women to the parliament. Only 2 of 47 women elected to the parliament received their seat in single mandate districts. Both were elected in Lviv oblast.
Thus, the majoritarian component brought only 1% percent of women (2 out of 198 MPs) to the Parliament and the party lists - 20% (45 of 225).Similar situation was observed in 2012. This is another argument to disclaim majoritarian component of election.
Research of the Venice Commission also confirms that elections in multimember districts contribute to election of women candidates better than elections in single-member districts. By the way, there is no direct relationship with open and closed party lists. Open lists facilitate election of women to the parliament in some countries, and vice versa in others.Committee of Voters of Ukraine consistently advocates for the reform of electoral legislation and introducing purely proportional system with open lists.
Although gender representation in the parliament of VIII convocation became more balanced compared to the parliaments of previous convocations, according to the UN Millennium Development Goals Ukraine should ensure women's representation in legislative body of at least 15% of deputies. Taking in consideration the above, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should take additional measures to achieve this minimum level in the upcoming elections. Such measures may include, for example, the introduction of gender quotas for proportional component of the electoral system, encouraging nomination of women in single-member constituencies while state funding of political parties, which is emphasized as a need by the largest parliamentary parties.