The Impact of Women’s Leadership

Descriptive Representation

The idea that representatives should not only represent the political or economic interests of their constituents, but should also reflect the descriptive characteristics of the population.

Can relate to any form of identity, including gender.

Gender Quotas

  • Voluntary party quotas (Europe)

  • Candidate quotas (Latin America, Africa)

  • Reserved seats (South Asia)

Gender and Policy

  • Relevance of parties

  • Parties control agenda in U.S.

  • Parties control lists in Europe

  • Relevance of ideology

When Does Gender Matter?

  • Western countries

    • Women’s issues
    • Party’s stance not set
  • Developing democracies

    • Partriarchal norms

Family Policy in the OECD

Alva Myrdal

Dual Wage-Earner Approach

  • Generous family benefits

  • Flexible shifts

  • “Socialized child rearing”

Impact of Quotas

  • Spending (Chhattopadhyay and Duflo)

  • Attitudes (Beaman et. al.)


  • Beaman et. al.

  • Dittmar et. al.