Women, Quotas and Politics

Date: June 15, 2010
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In the autumn of 2003, Rwanda unexpectedly surpassed Sweden as the number one country in the world in terms of women’s parliamentary representation. In the election to the newly constituted Rwandan parliament, women received 48.8 percent of the seats as opposed to 45.3 percent in Sweden. Having gathered data on the use of quotas globally, it is time to formulate new research questions. The use of electoral gender quotas challenges our ideas and theories about the relationship between women’s political representation and their socio-economic position, since quotas may lead to unprecedented historical leaps in women’s representation without simultaneous changes in women’s socio-economic position.

In this book we will argue that a country’s image in the international community is of growing importance today. This aspect of globalization has increased the opportunities for women’s movements to play the international card in their lobbying on the national level.

In this introduction recent discursive changes involving women’s political representation are discussed. This is followed by a discussion of the theoretical framework for analyzing electoral gender quotas and definitions of various types of electoral gender quotas. Lastly, the research design and contents of this book are presented.

ISBN: 0-415-42968-4
Publisher: Routledge
Year of Publication: 2006

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