Women, Quotas and Politics  book cover
1st Edition

Women, Quotas and Politics

Edited By

Drude Dahlerup

ISBN 9780415429689
Published December 5, 2006 by Routledge
304 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $62.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This is the first world-wide, comparative study of the controversial new trends of gender quotas now emerging in global politics, presenting a comprehensive overview of changes in women’s parliamentary representation across the world.

This is important reading for all those working to increase women’s influence in politics, because it scrutinizes under what circumstances gender quotas do increase women’s representation – and why they sometimes fail.

These distinguished international scholars also show how gender balance in politics has become important to a nation’s international image and why quotas are being introduced in many post-conflict countries. They present key case studies of Afghanistan, Iraq, Argentina, Sweden, South Africa, Belgium, covering almost all major regions of the world: Latin America, Africa, the Arab world, South Asia, the Balkans, The Nordic countries and Europe, New Zealand, Australia and the USA - and Rwanda, which in 2003 unexpectedly surpassed Sweden as the number one country in the world in terms of women’s parliamentary representation.

Using a comparative perspective, this book contains analyses of the discursive controversies around quotas; it gives an overview over various types of quotas in use from candidate quotas to reserved seat systems, and it throws light over the troublesome implementation process. When do gender quotas lead to actual increase in the number of women parliament? When are quotas merely a symbolic gesture? What does it imply to be elected as a ‘quota woman’? Tackling these and many more key questions, this is a major new contribution to the field.

Making an important contribution to our knowledge of gender politics worldwide, this book will be of interest to NGOs, students and scholars of democracy, policy-making, comparative politics and gender studies.

Table of Contents

Part I. Introductory chapters

1. Introduction

Drude Dahlerup

2. Arguing for and against quotas: theoretical issues

Carol Bacchi


Part II. Regional chapters

3. The Nordic Countries: An incremental model

Lenita Freidenvall, Drude Dahlerup and Hege Skjeie

4. Latin America: The experience and the impact of quotas in Latin America

Clara Araújo and Ana Isabel García

5. Sub-Saharan Africa: On the Fast Track to Women’s Political Representation

Aili Tripp, Dior Konate and Colleen Lowe-Morna

6. The Balkans: From total rejection to gradual acceptance of gender quotas

Milica G. Antic and Sonja Lokar

7. The Arab Region: Women's Access to the Decision-Making Process Across the Arab Nation

Gihan Abou-Zeid with the assistance of Dina Obied

8. Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand: Gender Quotas in the Context of Citizenship Models

Mona Lena Krook, Joni Lovenduski and Judith Squires

9. South Asia: Gender Quotas and the Politics of Empowerment : A comparative study

Shirin M. Rai, Farzana Bari, Nazmunnessa Mahtab and Bidyut Mohanty


Part III. Short case studies

10. Gender Quotas in Post-Conflict States: East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq

Julie Ballington and Drude Dahlerup

11. Indonesia: The struggle for gender quotas in the world’s largest Muslim country

Cecilia Bylesjö and Francisia SSE Seda

12. Affirmative action at the IPU

Kareen Jabre


Part IV. Concluding chapters

13. Electoral Quotas: Frequency and Effectiveness

Richard E. Matland

14. Conclusion

Drude Dahlerup

View More



Drude Dahlerup is Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University, Sweden. She has written extensively on feminist theory, women’s political representation and the history of the women’s movement.