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For Women Only? Gender Quotas and Intersectionality in France

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 August 2013

Éléonore Lépinard*
Université de Lausanne


The now well-developed literature on gender quotas focuses mainly on two areas: the causal mechanisms that can be advanced to explain the adoption, diffusion, and effectiveness of political gender quotas worldwide (Baldez 2004; Dahlerup 2006; Krook 2006; 2009; Krook, Lovenduski, and Squires 2009; Krook and O'Brien 2010; Lovenduski 2005; Meier 2012); and the benefits, as well as the dangers, that this “fast track” to gender equality can have for women's substantive representation and for politics in general (Celis and Childs 2012; Celis et al. 2008; Childs and Krook 2009; Dahlerup 1988; Franseschet, Krook, and Piscopo 2012; Franseschet and Piscopo 2008; Kittilson 2005; Phillips 1995; Squires 2001). Most studies on gender quotas approach “women” as a group defined by a single axis of oppression and the quotas' consequences for gender equality broadly. The growing literature on intersectionality, however, calls attention to the internal heterogeneity of the category “women” and the fact that gender relations are embedded in race or class relations, forming a “matrix of domination” rather than a single axis of oppression (Collins 1990). But the question of how gender quotas relate to intersectionality has remained, until now, much less investigated.

Research Article
Copyright © The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2013 

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