This paper addresses the question of why the ever-increasing numbers of women elected to state and local office give such low priority to issues related to the status of women. The paper surveys the sociology and political science literature to identify key variables which might account for so little change in the demographic characteristics and political priorities of women public officals. This review suggests that an increasing minority of women elected officials are feminist in the broadest sense and will support feminist policies as their numbers increase. These women are characterized by a newly legitimated ambition but dicriminated against by the political opportunity structure. The combination of ambition and thwarted opportunities considerably increases the probability of support for feminist policies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science