Thuringia has been number one in the national parliaments of Germany so far: Germany's most female parliament sat in the small federal state in the east. Out of 91 deputies, 38 were women – 42 percent of parliamentarians. That's a lot in a country where big people's parties like the CDU have only 26 percent of women among their members. For comparison: in the Bundestag, the proportion of women is 31 percent.
However, after the Thüringen election, things are different: out of the 90 seats that will be in the Landtag in the future, according to the preliminary results only 28 are still occupied by women. That corresponds to 31 percent of the deputies.
The reason: Although the left – which has both places on the electoral list, as well as direct candidates evenly distributed between men and women – has got the most votes in the country. However, the Greens who also rely on parity, represent only a small fraction. Even the SPD does not have many options in eight seats in parliament – after all, four of their seats go to women.
Hardly any women with direct mandates
The AfD on the other hand, achieves 22 mandates, of which only three go to women. The CDU has indeed quoted her electoral list, as she had already done in the election in Saxony. But the party has lost a lot of votes and won only direct mandates. So only two of the 21 mandates go to women.
After all, only twelve female CDU members had applied for direct mandates in the 44 constituencies. In the past legislature, ten of the 34 CDU members of parliament were female.
The state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony saw similar developments: Brandenburg had the second-highest number of women in the state parliament after Thuringia, with the election dropping by eight percentage points: now it is just under 32 percent.
Only 113 women elected to vote
At the Thuringian state election last Sunday, 399 people stood for election – only 113 of them were women.
In the next state election, which takes place regularly in five years, the circumstances should inevitably look different: For then the parity law, which adopted Thuringia this year as the second German state to Brandenburg has taken effect. The law stipulates that in future the list places of all parties to state elections must alternately be filled with women and men.
However, direct candidates are not affected by this rule. Results such as that of the CDU are thus still possible, as long as the regulation is not extended.
Experts addressing the issue, such as political scientist Jessica Fortin-Rittberger, emphasize that a parity law is the quickest way to achieve equality in parliaments. But it is important to consider the direct mandates – as it is the case in the French model.
France is one of the countries with the highest female quota in the European Parliament. Of course there are other ways to promote equality in politics. Parties in Sweden have given their own quotas – Sweden is the country with the most women in government.