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The Effect of Gender Quota Laws on the Election of Women: Lessons from Niger

Alice Kang

Between 2000 and 2012, ten African countries adopted candidate gender quota laws to improve women’s representation in national legislatures. The effect of these laws on the election of women has varied widely. This article examines the effect of a gender quota law on the election of women as well as the appointment of women to the cabinet in the Republic of Niger to better understand the realities of applying legal gender quotas in Africa. The study concludes that the effect of the gender quota law on the election and appointment of women hinged on a combination of three factors: the design of the law, the institutional context, and the agency of women’s activists who monitored the quota’s implementation.