Islam, parties, and women’s political nomination in Indonesia

Ella Syafputri Prihatini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article responds to earlier research on the role of Islam as a barrier to women's political nominations by assessing and comparing parties’ efforts to meet institutionally required gender quotas in Indonesia. With the provision of 30% candidate gender quotas implemented since the 2004 elections, how have parties responded? Do Islamist and pluralist parties differ systematically in this regard? More specifically, does religious ideology influence how parties go about meeting quotas, recruiting female candidates, and getting them elected? Or do all parties face the same challenges when it comes to getting women into parliament? Drawing on a unique dataset collected from 2004 to 2019 legislative elections and in-depth interviews with central party officers, faction leaders, and members of parliament, this article investigates these questions. The results indicate that Islamic ideology plays no obvious role in limiting female participation in legislative elections; Islamist and pluralist parties are equally good at achieving the percentage quotas of female nominees. Both groups are also similarly poor at putting female candidates first on the party lists. Indonesia's open-list proportional representation (PR) system is prohibitively expensive, and this hurts women candidates more than it does male candidates because women generally have less access to the capital necessary to purchase the top position on party lists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-659
JournalPolitics and Gender
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


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