Do affirmative action measures for women in politics change the way constituents view and interact with their female representatives? A subnational randomized policy experiment in Lesotho with single-member districts reserved for female community councilors provides causal evidence to this question. Using survey data, I find that having a quota-mandated female representative either has no effect on or actuallyreduces several dimensions of women’s self-reported engagement with local politics. In addition, implications from the policy experiment suggest that the quota effect is not accounted for by differences in qualifications or competence between the different groups of councilors, but rather stems from citizens’ negative reactions to the quota’s design.
Although scholarship on the general ideological orientation of right-wing populist parties is well established, few scholars have studied their ideas about gender. De Lange and Mügge therefore ask how differences in ideology shape right-wing populist parties' ideas on gender. Drawing on the qualitative content analysis of party manifestos, they compare the gender ideologies and concrete policy proposals of national and neoliberal populist parties in the Netherlands and Flanders from the 1980s to the present. They find that some parties adhere to a modern or modern-traditional view, while others espouse neo-traditional views. Moreover, some right-wing populist parties have adopted gendered readings of issues surrounding immigration and ‘Islam’, while others have not. The variation in stances on ‘classical’ gender issues can be explained by the genealogy and ideological orientation of the parties, whereas gendered views on immigration and Islam are influenced by contextual factors, such as 9/11.
Expanding women’ s economic opportunities is critical for meeting the obligations laid out in major human rights conventions and for enhancing countries’ development prospects and eliminating poverty. Realising the potential of all people contributes to productivity and a more resilient society. This matters at the national, community, family and individual levels. As a recent qualitative study of women and men in 20 countries across the world concludes, “women’s ability to work for pay... may be one of the most visible and game-changing events in the life of modern households and all communities.