Moving towards Gender Parity: Female Representation in National Legislatures, 2001 and 2011

By Kimberly S. Adams.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The national average for women serving in the lower chambers of national parliaments worldwide increased from 14.1 percent in Dec. 2001, to 19.3 percent in January 2011. I revisit prior research on factors that influence women’s share of representation to explain the increased presence of women in national legislatures in more than 140 countries.
Three variables remained statistically significant using the 2001 data and the 2011 data. A county’s electoral system, the economic development of a country and countries where Protestant religions are dominant, significantly affects women’s share of representation in the legislative body. Further, the 2011 findings corroborate the findings of previous works that suggests that the presence of gender quotas, the size of the legislature, the degree of democratic rights and freedom, education, the ratification of the CEDAW Treaty, Islamic religion, and a country’s level of fractionalization, significantly impacts the percentage of women serving in national parliament.

Keywords: Women in Parliaments Worldwide, Female Representation, Gender Quotas, CEDAW, Electoral Systems

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.55-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.004MB).

Dr. Kimberly S. Adams

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

Dr. Kimberly S. Adams is the President and Managing Director of Adams Political Research and Consulting. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Political Science at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Adams’ areas of teaching include American National Government, Women and Politics, Race and Ethnicity in American Politics, Political Parties, Political Communication, the Institutions of Government, and Political Behavior. Dr. Adams’ research explores the agenda setting behavior of non-traditional legislators (i.e.-women and African-Americans). She has presented academic papers on women and politics at the state, national and international levels.


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