In a dissertation in political science, Emelie Lilliefeldt, Södertrön University, in Sweden, shows that there are several different formulas for achieving gender balance in political parties. The parties’ own preconditions are fundamental, but they are combined with external conditions like the election system and gender equality in the wider society.
Different types of parties in Europe have attained balanced representation n different ways. In her dissertation in political science, Emelie Lilliefeldt compared a large number of parties that were active in Western Europe in the 1980s with parties in Central and Eastern Europe today.
“The parties’ own work for gender equality is central,” says Emelie Lilliefeldt. “But a society that makes it easier for parties to get more women elected enables more parties to achieve balance.”
She shows that when the surrounding society did not encourage efforts to balance the number of women and men in the party group, gender equality was created in small leftist and green parties through the use of quotas, and that the parties had full control of the order of candidates on ballots.
In Western European countries where women were equally active in the labor force and in higher education, parties that were not leftist or green also attained gender balance. This was the case for large parties that selected their candidates at the local level, but also for parties of varying sizes in countries where voters could not alter the parties’ selection of candidates by voting for individual candidates. It was also the case with parties where many candidates were elected in the same election district and where voters could alter the parties’ ballot lists by voting for individual candidates.
The formulas for gender-balanced parties in the East are similar to those in Western Europe. In Eastern and Central Europe women participate equally in the labor force, and women often outnumber men in higher education. By comparing gender-balanced parties in today’s democracies in Eastern and Central Europe, the dissertation shows that the balanced parties’ own efforts were key also in the newer democracies. Several of the parties studied were leftist or green in ideology. They also had women’s organizations or gender quotas among candidates for elections.
One example is the Latvian governmental party, Jaunais Laiks, which has had an equal number of women and men in several elections in a row. Emelie Lilliefeldt’s research shows that the large proportion of well-educated women in the country entailed that the party had access to many well-qualified women who could recruited for the party work. Several of these women could later benefit from the fact that the party had constructed its ballot lists strategically and that Latvia has a system where citizens can vote for individual candidates, thus exerting considerable power regarding who gets elected.
“Elections where people can vote for individual candidates was both good and bad for gender equality,” says Emelie Lilliefeldt. “How such a system impacts gender equality in the party groups is highly contingent on the voters themselves.”
When parties make room for women, they generally receive support from voters. The study of Latvian parties shows that well-known women politicians can attract votes just as much as men.
Emelie Lilliefeldt is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, and BEEGS, Baltic and East European Graduate School, Södertörn University.
The dissertation is titled European Party Politics and Gender: Configuring Gender-Balanced Parliamentary Presence.
The external examiner will be Professor Richard Matland, Loyola University, Chicago.
Contact: Emelie Lilliefeldt: tel: +46 (0)8-608 45 90 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleonor Björkman, information officer, Södertörn University: tel: +46(0)8-608 50 62 or mobile: +46 (0)70-286 13 32
Eleonor Björkman | idw
Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research