Political Power and Women's Representation in Latin America

Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

Anno: 2010
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 272 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 236 x 162 mm
Peso: 530 gr.
  • EAN: 9780199731954
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The number of women elected to national legislatures has grown significantly over the past thirty years - worldwide, the average percentage of women in legislatures is currently 18%; in a number of developing countries (particularly in Africa and Latin America) women hold 30-40% of legislative seats. This increase in the number of women elected to national office is due, in large part, to gender-friendly electoral rules such as gender quotas and proportional electoral systems, and it has, in turn, fostered constituent support for representative democracy. Still, as this book argues, although women are gaining political voice and bringing women's issues to state agendas, they are not gaining political power. Women are marginalized by the male majority in office and relegated to the least powerful committees and leadership posts, hindering progress toward real political equality. In order to make this argument, Schwindt-Bayer presents a comparative study of recent trends in women's representation in Latin America, using aggregate data from all eighteen Latin American democracies and original fieldwork in Argentina, Columbia and Costa Rica. She develops an integrated theory of women's representation that analyzes and connects trends in relation to four facets of political representation: formal, descriptive, substantive and symbolic. This is the first English-language book on women's political representation in Latin America, and it is the first empirical study of the multiple dimensions of representation.