Previous accounts of the determinants of women's service on city councils focused on the degree of women's representation. In this paper we suggest that understanding women's representation on these legislative bodies requires that attention also be paid to potential differences between communities where women have been able to break the cycle of exclusion from those where they have not. This paper compares two different measures of women's council representation using both logit and the OLS regression. The results indicate that, alone, electoral structure is not a significant explanatory factor in understanding either the presence of women on city councils or the extent of women's representation on these legislative bodies. However, the size of the legislative body has a significant effect which, except among district election cities, largely improves the likelihood of electing a woman to the council (as compared to improving the degree of women's representation). Other results indicate significant regional disparities which favor the Midwest and West over the Northeast and South.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science