Recent Normative Developments in Women’s Political Representation in the Italian Regions

by Monica Rosini

The paper aims to analyse the mechanisms of gender equality implemented by Italian regions in their electoral laws. If in recent years, at national and local level, the state legislation has introduced effective measures which have partially redressed the historical under-representation of women in the elected assemblies, at regional level the picture is very different. The percentage of women in regional councils is still on average very low, although this varies from region to region. This heterogeneous scenario - inter alia - depends on delays in the implementation of the mechanisms - gender quotas and double gender preference - provided by legge 15 February 2016 no 20. Autonomy does not mean more attention for gender equality, as shown by the inertia of some ordinary as well as special regions. 
To resolve such inertia, the government has recently used its substitutive power (laid down in Art 120, para 2, of the Italian Constitution), introducing the double gender preference in the Apulian electoral system. Such an intervention has raised several legal problems, but emphasises the key importance of the principle of gender equality in the current Italian constitutional system. The differentiated implementation of gender quotas and double gender preference by regions may endanger the legal unity of the Republic, the principle of equality, and the right to vote and stand for election, all of which require protection by the state.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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