Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Legislative Power and Women's Representation

  • Leslie Schwindt-Bayer (a1) and Peverill Squire (a2)

Extract

Women's representation in national legislatures varies widely around the world. In 2012, only Rwanda and Andorra had achieved parity in women's representation in the national parliament, with 56% of the Rwandan Chamber of Deputies being female and exactly half the Andorran General Council represented by each sex. In many other countries, women still have little representation in the national legislature, despite being almost 50% of the population. A large body of research has emerged to try to explain the wide variation across countries, with most of it focusing on cultural, socioeconomic, and electoral explanations (e.g., McDonagh 2002; Norris 1985; Reynolds 1999; Rule 1987; Tripp and Kang 2008). Recent scholarship, however, has suggested that the legislature itself is a gendered institution that marginalizes women and argues for greater attention to understanding exactly how legislative institutions affect women's representation (Beckwith 2005; Chappell 2006; 2010; Duerst-Lahti and Kelly 1995; Hawkesworth 2003; 2005; Krook and Mackay 2011; Schwindt-Bayer 2010).

Copyright

References

Hide All
Abbe, Owen G., and Herrnson, Paul S.. 2003. “Campaign Professionalism in State Legislative Elections.” State Politics & Policy Quarterly 3 (3): 223–45.
Andersen, Kristi, and Thorson, Stuart J.. 1984. “Congressional Turnover and the Election of Women.” Western Political Quarterly 37 (1): 143–56.
Arceneaux, Kevin. 2001. “The ‘Gender Gap’ in State Legislative Representation: New Data to Tackle an Old Question.” Political Research Quarterly 54:143–60.
Barnes, Tiffany D. 2012. “Gender Quotas and the Representation of Women: Empowerment, Decision-making, and Public Policy.” Ph.D. diss., Rice University.
Beckwith, Karen. 2005. “A Common Language of Gender?Politics & Gender 1 (1):128–37.
Berkman, Michael B. 1994. “State Legislators in Congress: Strategic Politicians, Professional Legislatures, and the Party Nexus.” American Journal of Political Science 38 (4):1025–55.
Berry, William D., Berkman, Michael B., and Schneiderman, Stuart. 2000. “Legislative Professionalism and Incumbent Reelection: The Development of Institutional Boundaries.” American Political Science Review 94 (3): 859–74.
Burns, Nancy, Schlozman, Kay Lehman, and Verba, Sidney. 2001. The Private Roots of Public Action: Gender, Equality, and Political Participation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Burrell, Barbara. 1994. A Woman's Place is in the House: Campaigning for Congress in the Feminist Era. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Cain, Bruce E., Ferejohn, John A., and Fiorina, Morris P.. 1987. The Personal Vote. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Camp, Roderic Ai. 1995. Political Recruitment across Two Centuries: Mexico, 1884–1991. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Carey, John M. 1996. Term Limits and Legislative Representation. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Carey, John M., Niemi, Richard G., and Powell, Lynda W.. 2000. “Incumbency and the Probability of Reelection in State Legislative Elections.” Journal of Politics 62 (3):671700.
Carey, John M., and Shugart, Matthew Soberg. 1995. “Incentives to Cultivate a Personal Vote.” Electoral Studies 14 (4): 417–39.
Carey, John M., and Shugart, Matthew Soberg, eds. 1998. Executive Decree Authority. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Carroll, Susan J. 1994. Women as Candidates in American Politics. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Carroll, Susan J., and Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2013. More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislatures. New York: Oxford University Press.
Caul, Miki. 1999. “Women's Representation in Parliament: The Role of Political Parties.” Party Politics 5 (1): 7998.
Chappell, Louise. 2006. “Comparing Political Institutions: Revealing the Gendered ‘Logic of Appropriateness.’Politics & Gender 2 (2): 221–63.
Chappell, Louise. 2010. “Comparative Gender and Institutions: Directions for Research.” Perspectives on Politics 8 (1): 183–89.
Cox, Gary W. 1987. The Efficient Secret. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Crespin, Michael H., and Deitz, Janna L.. 2010. “If You Can’t Join ’Em, Beat ’Em: The Gender Gap in Individual Donations to Congressional Candidates.” Political Research Quarterly 63 (3): 581–93.
Dahlerup, Drude, ed. 2006. Women, Politics, and Quotas. New York: Routledge.
Dahlerup, Drude, and Freidenvall, Lenita. 2005. “Quotas as a ‘Fast Track’ to Equal Representation for Women.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 7 (1): 2648.
Darcy, Robert, and Choike, James R.. 1986. “A Formal Analysis of Legislative Turnover: Women Candidates and Legislative Representation.” American Journal of Political Science 30 (1): 237–55.
Darcy, Robert, and Schramm, Sarah Slavin. 1977. “When Women Run Against Men.” Public Opinion Quarterly 41 (1): 112.
Darcy, Robert, Welch, Susan, and Clark, Janet. 1994. Women, Elections, and Representation. 2nd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Desposato, Scott. 2001. “Legislative Politics in Authoritarian Brazil.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 26 (2): 287317.
Desposato, Scott. 2012. “Review of The Handbook of National Legislatures.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 37 (3): 389–96.
Diamond, Irene. 1977. Sex Roles in the State House. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Dolan, Kathleen. 2004. “The Impact of Candidate Sex on Evaluations of Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.” Social Science Quarterly 85 (1): 206–17.
Duerst-Lahti, Georgia, and Kelly, Rita Mae, eds. 1995. Gender Power, Leadership, and Governance. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Duverger, Maurice. 1955. The Political Role of Women. Paris: UNESCO.
Engstrom, Richard L. 1987. “District Magnitude and the Election of Women to the Irish Dail.” Electoral Studies 6 (2): 123–32.
Fish, M. Steven, and Kroenig, Matthew. 2009. The Handbook of National Legislatures. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Fish, M. Steven, and Kroenig, Matthew. 2012. “A Response to Desposato.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 37 (3): 397401.
Fox, Richard L., and Lawless, Jennifer L.. 2004. “Entering the Arena? Gender and the Decision to Run for Office.” American Journal of Political Science 48 (2): 264–80.
Fox, Richard L., and Lawless, Jennifer L.. 2010. “If Only They'd Ask: Gender, Recruitment, and Political Ambition.” Journal of Politics 72 (2): 310–26.
Fox, Richard L., and Lawless, Jennifer L.. 2011. “Gendered Perceptions and Political Candidacies: A Central Barrier to Women's Equality in Electoral Politics.” American Journal of Political Science 55 (1): 5973.
Frye, Timothy. 1997. “A Politics of Institutional Choice: Post-Communist Presidencies.” Comparative Political Studies 30 (5): 523–52.
Fulton, Sarah A. 2012. “Running Backwards and in High Heels: The Gendered Quality Gap and Incumbent Electoral Success.” Political Research Quarterly 65 (2): 303–14.
Fulton, Sarah A., Maestas, Cherie D., Maisel, L. Sandy, and Stone, Walter J.. 2006. “The Sense of a Woman: Gender, Ambition, and the Decision to Run for Congress.” Political Research Quarterly 59 (2): 235–48.
Hawkesworth, Mary. 2003. “Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward a Theory of Raced-Gendered Institutions.” American Political Science Review 97 (4): 1214–29.
Hawkesworth, Mary. 2005. “Engendering Political Science: An Immodest Proposal.” Politics & Gender 1 (1): 141–56.
Heath, Roseanna M., Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie A., and Taylor-Robinson, Michelle M.. 2005. “Women on the Sidelines: Women's Representation on Committees in Latin American Legislatures.” American Journal of Political Science 49 (2): 420–36.
Htun, Mala N., and Jones, Mark P.. 2002. “Engendering the Right to Participate in Decision-Making: Electoral Quotas and Women's Leadership in Latin America.” In Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America, ed. Craske, Nikki and Molyneux, Maxine. New York: Palgrave Publishers.
Hughes, Melanie M. 2011. “Intersectionality, Quotas, and Minority Women's Political Representation Worldwide.” American Political Science Review 105 (3): 604–20.
Inglehart, Ronald, and Norris, Pippa. 2003. Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change around the World. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Jenkins, Shannon. 2007. “A Woman's Work is Never Done? Fund-Raising Perception and Effort among Female State Legislative Candidates.” Political Research Quarterly 60 (2): 230–39.
Jones, Mark P. 2009. “Gender Quotas, Electoral Laws, and the Election of Women: Evidence from the Latin American Vanguard.” Comparative Political Studies 42 (1): 5681.
Jones, Mark P., Saiegh, Sebastian, Spiller, Pablo T., and Tommasi, Mariano. 2002. “Amateur Legislators—Professional Politicians: The Consequences of Party-Centered Electoral Rules in a Federal System.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (3): 656–69.
Kelly, Rita Mae, and Duerst-Lahti, Georgia. 1995. “The Study of Gender Power and its Link to Governance and Leadership.” In Gender Power, Leadership, and Governance, ed. Duerst-Lahti, Georgia and Mae Kelly, Rita. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Kenworthy, Lane, and Malami, Melissa. 1999. “Gender Inequality in Political Representation: A Worldwide Comparative Analysis.” Social Forces 78 (1): 235–69.
Kittilson, Miki Caul. 2006. Challenging Parties, Changing Parliaments. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Kittilson, Miki Caul, and Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie A.. 2012. The Gendered Effects of Electoral Institutions: Political Engagement and Participation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Krook, Mona Lena. 2009. Quotas for Women in Politics: Gender and Candidate Selection Reform Worldwide. New York: Oxford University Press.
Krook, Mona Lena, and Mackay, Fiona, eds. 2011. Gender, Politics, and Institutions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kunovich, Sheri, and Paxton, Pamela. 2005. “Pathways to Power: The Role of Political Parties in Women's National Political Representation.” American Journal of Sociology 111 (2): 505–52.
Laver, Michael, and Shepsle, Kenneth. 1990. “Coalitions and Cabinet Government.” American Political Science Review 84 (3): 873–90.
Lawless, Jennifer L., and Fox, Richard L.. 2005. It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lawless, Jennifer L., and Fox, Richard L.. 2010. It Still Takes a Candidate. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lax, Jeffrey R., and Phillips, Justin H.. 2009. “Gay Rights in the States: Public Opinion and Public Responsiveness.” American Political Science Review 103 (1): 367–86.
Mackay, Fiona, Kenny, Meryl, and Chappell, Louise. 2010. “New Institutionalism Through a Gender Lens: Towards a Feminist Institutionalism?International Political Science Review 31 (5): 573–88.
Maestas, Cherie. 2003. “The Incentive to Listen: Progressive Ambition, Resources, and Opinion Monitoring among State Legislators.” Journal of Politics 65 (2): 439–56.
Malesky, Edmund, and Schuler, Paul. 2011. “The Single-Party Dictator's Dilemma: Information in Elections without Opposition.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 36 (4): 491530.
Martin, Lanny, and Stevenson, Randolph. 2001. “Government Formation in Parliamentary Democracies.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (1): 3350.
Matland, Richard E. 1994. “Putting Scandinavian Equality to the Test: An Experimental Evaluation of Gender Stereotyping of Political Candidates in a Sample of Norwegian Voters.” British Journal of Political Science 24 (2): 273–92.
Matland, Richard E. 1998. “Women's Representation in National Legislatures: Developed and Developing Countries.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 23 (1): 109–25.
Matland, Richard E., and Studlar, Donley T.. 1996. “The Contagion of Women Candidates in SMD and PR Electoral Systems: Canada and Norway.” Journal of Politics 58 (3):707–33.
Mayhew, David R. 1974. Congress: The Electoral Connection. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
McDonagh, Eileen. 2002. “Political Citizenship and Democratization: The Gender Paradox.” American Political Science Review 96 (3): 535–52.
Metcalf, Lee Kendall. 2000. “Measuring Presidential Power.” Comparative Political Studies 33 (5): 660–86.
Moncrief, Gary, Niemi, Richard G., and Powell, Lynda W.. 2004. “Time, Term Limits, and Turnover: Membership Stability in U.S. State Legislatures.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 29 (2): 357–81.
Moncrief, Gary F., Squire, Peverill, and Jewell, Malcolm E.. 2001. Who Runs for the Legislature? Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Morgenstern, Scott, and Nacif, Benito, eds. 2002. Legislative Politics in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Nechemias, Carol. 1987. “Changes in the Election of Women to U.S. State Legislative Seats.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 12 (1): 125–42.
Nelson, Barbara, and Chowdhury, Najma, eds. 1994. Women and Politics Worldwide. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Niven, David. 1998. “Party Elites and Women Candidates: The Shape of Bias.” Women & Politics 19 (2): 5780.
Norrander, Barbara, and Wilcox, Clyde. 2005. “Change and Continuity in the Geography of Women State Legislators.” In Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Thomas, S. and Wilcox, C.. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Norris, Pippa. 1985. “Women's Legislative Participation in Western Europe. West European Politics 8 (4): 90101.
Norris, Pippa, Vallance, Elizabeth, and Lovenduski, Joni. 1992. “Do Candidates Make a Difference? Gender, Race, Ideology, and Incumbency.” Parliamentary Affairs 45 (4): 496517.
Oakes, Ann, and Almquist, Elizabeth. 1993. “Women in National Legislatures: A Cross-National Test of Macrostructural Gender Theories.” Population Research and Policy Review 12 (1): 7181.
Paxton, Pamela, and Hughes, Melanie M.. 2007. Women, Politics, and Power: A Global Perspective. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press.
Paxton, Pamela, Hughes, Melanie M., and Painter, Matthew A.. 2010. “Growth in Women's Political Representation: A Longitudinal Exploration of Democracy, Electoral System and Gender Quotas. European Journal of Political Research 49 (1): 2552.
Pitkin, Hanna. 1967. The Concept of Representation. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Randall, Vicky, and Smyth, Ailbhe. 1987. “Bishops and Bailiwicks: Obstacles to Women's Political Participation in Ireland.” Economic and Social Review 18 (3): 189214.
Reynolds, Andrew. 1999. “Women in the Legislatures and Executives of the World: Knocking at the Highest Glass Ceiling. World Politics 51 (4): 547–72.
Rodríguez, Victoria E. 2003. Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Rosen, Jennifer. 2013. “The Effects of Political Institutions on Women's Political Representation: A Comparative Analysis of 168 Countries from 1992 to 2010.” Political Research Quarterly 66 (2): 306–21.
Rosenthal, Alan. 1989. “The Legislative Institution: Transformed and at Risk.” In The State of the States, ed. Horn, Carl E. Van. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Rule, Wilma. 1981. “Why Women Don't Run: The Critical Contextual Factors in Women's Legislative Recruitment.” Western Political Quarterly 34 (1): 6077.
Rule, Wilma. 1987. “Electoral Systems, Contextual Factors and Women's Opportunity for Election to Parliament in Twenty-Three Democracies.” Western Political Quarterly 40 (3): 477–98.
Rule, Wilma. 1994. “Parliaments of, by, and for the People: Except for Women?” In Electoral Systems in Comparative Perspective: Their Impact on Women and Minorities, ed. Zimmerman, Joseph F. and Rule, Wilma. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Rule, Wilma, and Zimmerman, Joseph F., eds. 1994. Electoral Systems in Comparative Perspective: Their Impact on Women and Minorities. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Samuels, David. 2003. Ambition, Federalism, and Legislative Politics in Brazil. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002a. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (1): 20.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002b. “Political Parties and the Recruitment of Women to State Legislatures.” Journal of Politics 64 (3): 791809.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2003. “Gender-Related Political Knowledge and the Descriptive Representation of Women.” Political Behavior 25 (4): 367–88.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2006. Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Schmidt, Gregory D. 2008. “The Election of Women in List PR Systems: Testing the Conventional Wisdom.” Electoral Studies 28 (2): 190203.
Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie A. 2005. “The Incumbency Disadvantage and Women's Election to Legislative Office.” Electoral Studies 24 (2): 227–44.
Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie A. 2010. Political Power and Women's Representation in Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie A. 2009. “Making Quotas Work: The Effect of Gender Quota Laws on the Election of Women.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 34 (1): 528.
Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie A., Malecki, Michael, and Crisp, Brian F. 2010. “Candidate Gender and Electoral Success in Single Transferable Vote Systems.” British Journal of Political Science 40 (3): 693709.
Seltzer, Richard A., Newman, Jody, and Leighton, Melissa Voorhees. 1997. Sex as a Political Variable: Women as Candidates and Voters in U.S. Elections. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Shipan, Charles R., and Volden, Craig. 2006. “Bottom-Up Federalism: The Diffusion of Antismoking Policies from U.S. Cities to State.” American Journal of Political Science 50 (3): 825–43.
Shugart, Matthew Soberg, and Carey, John M.. 1992. Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Siaroff, Alan. 2003. “Comparative Presidencies: The Inadequacy of the Presidential, Semi-presidential and Parliamentary Distinction.” European Journal of Political Research 42 (3): 287312.
Smith, Adrienne R., Reingold, Beth, and Owens, Michael Leo. 2011. The Political Determinants of Women's Descriptive Representation in Cities. Political Research Quarterly 65 (2): 315–29.
Smith, Eric R.A.N., and Fox, Richard L.. 2001. “The Electoral Fortunes of Women Candidates for Congress.” Political Research Quarterly 54 (1): 205–21.
Squire, Peverill. 1992. “Legislative Professionalization and Membership Diversity in State Legislatures.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 27 (1): 6979.
Squire, Peverill. 1993. “Professionalism and Public Opinion of State Legislatures.” Journal of Politics 55 (2): 479–91.
Squire, Peverill. 2007. “Measuring State Legislative Professionalism: The Squire Index Revisited.” State Politics & Policy Quarterly 7 (2): 211–27.
Squire, Peverill. 2014. “Electoral Career Movements and the Flow of Political Power in the American Federal System.” State Politics & Policy Quarterly 14 (1): 7289.
Squire, Peverill, and Moncrief, Gary. 2010. State Legislatures Today: Politics Under the Domes. Boston, MA: Longman.
Strom, Kaare, Budge, Ian, and Laver, Michael J.. 1994. “Constraints on Cabinet Formation in Parliamentary Democracies.” American Journal of Political Science 38 (2): 303–35.
Studlar, Donley T., and McAllister, Ian. 1991. “Political Recruitment to the Australian Legislature: Toward an Explanation of Women's Electoral Disadvantages.” Western Political Quarterly 44 (2): 467–85.
Studlar, Donley T., and Welch, Susan. 1991. “Does District Magnitude Matter? Women Candidates in London Local Elections.” Western Political Quarterly 44 (2): 457–67.
Tremblay, Manon. 2007. “Democracy, Representation, and Women: A Comparative Analysis.” Democratization 14 (4): 533–53.
Tremblay, Manon, ed. 2008. Women and Legislative Representation: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Sex Quotas. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Tripp, Aili, and Kang, Alice. 2008. “The Global Impact of Quotas: On the Fast Track to Increased Female Legislative Representation.” Comparative Political Studies 41 (3): 338–61.
Verba, Sidney, Burns, Nancy, and Schlozman, Kay Lehman. 1997. “Knowing and Caring about Politics: Gender and Political Engagement.” Journal of Politics 59 (4): 1059–72.
Volden, Craig, Wiseman, Alan E., and Wittmer, Dana E.. 2013. “When Are Women More Effective Lawmakers Than Men?American Journal of Political Science 57 (2): 326341.
Welch, Susan, and Studlar, Donley T.. 1990. “Multimember Districts and the Representation of Women.” Journal of Politics 52 (2): 391412.
Welch, Susan, and Studlar, Donley T.. 1996. “The Opportunity Structure for Women's Candidacies and Electability in Britain and the United States.” Political Research Quarterly 49 (4): 861–75.
World Bank. 2007. World Development Indicators [CD-ROM]. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
Wright, Gerald. 2007. “Do Term Limits Affect Legislative Roll Call Voting? Representation, Polarization, and Participation.” State Politics & Policy Quarterly 7 (2): 256–80.
Yoon, Mi Yung. 2004. “Explaining Women's Legislative Representation in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 29 (3): 447–68.
Young, Lisa. 1991. “Legislative Turnover and the Election of Women to the Canadian House of Commons.” In Women in Canadian Politics: Toward Equity in Representation, ed. Megyery, K.. Toronto: Dundurn Press.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Legislative Power and Women's Representation

  • Leslie Schwindt-Bayer (a1) and Peverill Squire (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.