Presence of women in the Senate
Last updated on 24/11/2016
The presence of women in the Senate has been increased by the electoral reform of 2007, which imposes a balanced number of men and women in the composition of candidate lists.
Currently there are 98 Female Senators. It is true, however, that this figure does not represent a balanced composition with regard to the total number of members of the Senate (266). The reason for this imbalance lies largely in the electoral system of the Senate, which impedes balanced candidacies, particularly in comparison with Congress: parties and coalitions are urged to present three candidates in the majority of constituencies, so it cannot guarantee more than one candidate in both sexes. Therefore, within the same candidacy, one sex might have one more candidate than the other. Furthermore, the elector may distribute their three votes freely; therefore parity will also depend on their selection.
In addition, in the case of Senators appointed by regional Parliaments, the requirement for proportional distribution between their Parliamentary Groups also impedes this balance given that there are Groups which can only put forward one candidate; therefore, one of the genders will always go unrepresented through this channel. Furthermore, the fact that some of the Self-Governing Communities appoint a smaller and odd number of Senators contributes to this result.