Women's representation in elected and appointed positions is often seen as a matter of justice and equity (Burrell 1997). Beyond symbolic representation, many believe that a greater presence of women in institutions that have traditionally been controlled by men can facilitate the attention to issues that disproportionately affect women (Dahlerup 1988; Dodson and Carroll 1991; Kanter 1977). As the election of women has grown in the past decade, researchers have shown a renewed interest in understanding under what conditions women's descriptive representation can produce more effective substantive representation of women's interests. A number of feminist scholars argue that increasing the descriptive representation of women in legislatures is essential to remedy existing inequalities suffered by women (Mansbridge 1999). But electoral practices aimed at increasing women and minorities in office, such as majority-minority districts or gender quotas throughout European and Latin American countries, have produced varied results concerning the substantive representation of women and minority interests. Understanding the electoral and institutional features that strengthen or attenuate women's representation, therefore, merits further study.