Gender Parity in Parliaments

Are parity laws requiring political parties to alternate between men and women on party lists compatible with democracy? The constitutional court of the German state of Thuringia did not think so, in a decision taken yesterday by 6 men against three dissenting votes, among them the only two female justices on the bench. In most of Europe and many other parts of the world, however, legislated gender quotas are increasingly common. What shall we make of this?