Women's representation in parliament: The role of political parties

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

358 Scopus citations


Parties vary substantially in the proportion of women they send to parliament. I examine how party characteristics affect women's representation in the parliamentary parties of 12 advanced industrial nations over time. Four party-level factors have some explanatory power: organizational structure, ideology, women party activists and gender-related candidate rules. A temporal sequence is proposed in which these factors and electoral rules directly and indirectly affect women's representation. Women party activists and gender-related rules are the more direct mechanisms affecting women's legislative representation. Further, New Left values and high levels of women activists within the party both enhance the likelihood that gender-related candidate rules will be implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-98
Number of pages20
JournalParty Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender quotas
  • Political parties
  • Women's representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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