* Elections to European Parliament from the point of view of gender – gender differentiated view on political party ballots and voter participation

The question of equal opportunities for men and women has not been a political issue in the Czech Republic for a long time. The situation has changed significantly, however, since our government pledged to deal with unequal position of men and women in many spheres within the process of deepening European integration. Yet we still have to note that the issue of equal opportunities has only marginal place in Czech politics.

In 2002 parliamentary elections, for example, ČSSD (Czechoslovak Social Democrats) was the only party to deal with this issue. It is the only parliamentary political party that accepted quota for participation of women in party authorities and ballots (1/5).

Present situation in the Czech Republic to a certain extent copies the western European trend. Czech left wing parties, similarly to western European left-wing parties, are more involved in active eliminating of inequalities between men and women in political sphere. Unlike in Western Europe, however, Czech political parties express their support for equality of sexes mainly verbally. This report will try to point out that reality in the parties often noticeably differs from their rhetoric of equal opportunity.

This report offers gender-differentiated view on elections to European Parliament, namely in two different aspects. First we will compare political party ballots in elections to Czech parliament and in European Parliament elections. We will focus mainly on increasing/decreasing trend of percentage of women on ballots and among elected candidates, on comparing effects of different election systems and finally on comparing selected socio-demographic characteristics of elected deputies. The second part of the report will be based on combining public research data with results of the actual elections. It will focus on the possibility of gender-diversified analysis of voter participation in European parliament elections and elections in general.


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