Gender and Politics in the media

On women, political knowledge and Space Invaders, Do Electoral Laws Affect Women’s Representation?

Labour engulfed in sexism row over women only rule in MK North ACCUSATIONS of sexism and discrimination against men have been fired on a national level at the city’s Labour Party. The claims of political incorrectness, which have been blasted by Councillor Rita Venn, erupted after the party revealed only female candidates could be shortlisted for the Milton Keynes North parliamentary seat. As such two women, Leighton Buzzard train driver Rebekah Peterson and city resident Emily Darlington, are due to go head-to-head in a vote next week.

Chamber of Commons
Chamber of Commons

On women, political knowledge and Space Invaders Philip Cowley Why aren’t more people angry about women’s political under-representation?  That was the core question posed by Joni Lovenduski in a recent article in Political Quarterly, reporting on a workshop on the subject.  “Participants in the workshop”, Lovenduski noted, “wondered why the political under-representation of women in the United Kingdom is not treated as the public disgrace that it is”.

Do Electoral Laws Affect Women’s Representation?
Numerous studies have found that proportional electoral rules significantly increase women’s representation in national parliaments relative to majoritarian and mixed rules. These studies, however, suffer from serious methodological problems including the endogeneity of electoral laws, poor measures of cultural variables, and neglect of time trends. This article attempts to produce more accurate estimates of the effect of electoral rules on women’s representation by using within-country comparisons of electoral rule changes and bicameral systems as well as matching methods. The main finding is that the effect of electoral laws is not as strong as in previous studies and varies across cases. The policy implication is that changes in electoral laws may not provide a quick and consistent fix to the problem of low women’s representation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s