The most conservative party in Chile, the Unión Demócrata Independiente, has nominated and elected more women to local-level office than any of the other major parties in the country. In this article, I argue that the candidate selection processes used by this party explain how it has proposed more women candidates for municipal office than parties with defined ideological commitments to increasing women's representation. The party's use of candidate selection procedures that are both exclusive and centralized allow women to avoid important obstacles on the path to obtaining candidacies. The case of the Unión Demócrata Independiente is important, first, because it allows us to understand how a party without a commitment to increasing women's participation can nonetheless do so, and second, because it lays bare the causal mechanisms of candidate selection procedures and increases our understanding of the effects that these processes have on female representation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science