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Gender Gap in Political Representation and Recruitment Professor Bernadette C. Hayes.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Gap in Political Representation and Recruitment Professor Bernadette C. Hayes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Gap in Political Representation and Recruitment Professor Bernadette C. Hayes

2 Lecture Outline Introduction – A definition of the gender gap Introduction – A definition of the gender gap Mechanisms used to increase female political representation Mechanisms used to increase female political representation Gender gap in political representation Gender gap in political representation Theoretical explanations for the under-representation of women Theoretical explanations for the under-representation of women Gender gap in legislative recruitment Gender gap in legislative recruitment The process of legislative recruitment: the British case The process of legislative recruitment: the British case Conclusion Conclusion

3 GENDER GAP Difference in the proportion of women and men holding political office Difference in the proportion of women and men holding political office (% women MPs - % men MPs) (% women MPs - % men MPs) Difference in the proportion of women and men selected as political/parliamentary candidates Difference in the proportion of women and men selected as political/parliamentary candidates (% women candidates - % men candidates) (% women candidates - % men candidates)

4 Assumptions of Democratic Theory Citizens will participate equally in political affairs Citizens will participate equally in political affairs Their decisions will carry equal weight Their decisions will carry equal weight How to achieve this ideal open to much dispute How to achieve this ideal open to much dispute particularly the case in relation to the political representation of women particularly the case in relation to the political representation of women

5 Mechanisms Used to Increase the Political Representation of Women Quotas/all women short-lists Quotas/all women short-lists Twinning constituencies Twinning constituencies Use of top-up seats Use of top-up seats

6 Quotas/All Women Short-Lists Introduced by Labour in the run up to (1993) the 1997 general election Introduced by Labour in the run up to (1993) the 1997 general election In January 1996, was abandoned following a legal challenge by two aggrieved male applicants at an industrial tribunal as was believed to have contravened the sex discrimination act (1975) In January 1996, was abandoned following a legal challenge by two aggrieved male applicants at an industrial tribunal as was believed to have contravened the sex discrimination act (1975) Change of law in 2002 [sex discrimination (election candidates) act (sdca)] Change of law in 2002 [sex discrimination (election candidates) act (sdca)] Allows but does not require political parties to implement quotas of women/all women shortlists for a limited period of time Allows but does not require political parties to implement quotas of women/all women shortlists for a limited period of time The act has a sunset clause in that provisions expire at the end of 2015, although can be extended by secondary legislation The act has a sunset clause in that provisions expire at the end of 2015, although can be extended by secondary legislation In 2005, only Labour took advantage of its provisions by reintroducing all women shortlist (AWS) in its candidate selection in the majority of its retirement seats (labour mp standing down) In 2005, only Labour took advantage of its provisions by reintroducing all women shortlist (AWS) in its candidate selection in the majority of its retirement seats (labour mp standing down) Also used by the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) in 2003 Also used by the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) in 2003

7 Blaires babes: The 101 Female MPs elected in 1997

8 Fiona Jones died January 8 th 2007 Fellow MP, Jane Griffiths, who was deselected in 2005 said: The Party nationally and locally threw Fiona to the wolves, and if Tony cant sleep at night it should be about this. Fellow MP, Jane Griffiths, who was deselected in 2005 said: The Party nationally and locally threw Fiona to the wolves, and if Tony cant sleep at night it should be about this.

9 Retired after one term Tess KinghamJenny Jones Tess KinghamJenny Jones

10 Conservatives: Rejects Quotas A- List: 100+ Priority Candidates A- List: 100+ Priority Candidates Equal proportions of men and women Equal proportions of men and women Local associations from 150 winnable seats required to choose from the list Local associations from 150 winnable seats required to choose from the list Unpublished: Louise Bagshawe (novelist) and Adam Rickitt (soap star) Unpublished: Louise Bagshawe (novelist) and Adam Rickitt (soap star)

11 Newsnight research 52% privately educated 52% privately educated 46% women 46% women 89% previous involved (worked with or stood for election) with Conservative party 89% previous involved (worked with or stood for election) with Conservative party 61% from South of England 61% from South of England 66% work in business/media/politics 66% work in business/media/politics

12 Conservative MP: Nadine Dorries Changes have not gone far enough. Changes have not gone far enough. There is very little point in replacing a party which used to predominantly have MPs who were white, male barristers with 2.4 children and a Labrador from the south of England.. There is no point replacing them just simply with women who are of the same profile There is very little point in replacing a party which used to predominantly have MPs who were white, male barristers with 2.4 children and a Labrador from the south of England.. There is no point replacing them just simply with women who are of the same profile

13 Twinning Constituencies (Scotland and Wales) Introduced by labour in first Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly elections in 1999 Introduced by labour in first Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly elections in 1999 –twin constituencies to allow both women and men to stand for election –the members of the two constituencies select candidates together –woman with the highest number of votes selected to stand for one constituency and the man with the highest number of votes selected for the other

14 Use of Top-Up Seats (Scotland and Wales ) Introduction of top-up or party lists where Introduction of top-up or party lists where –alternate female and male candidates on party lists (zipping) – Labour in Wales –Place women at the upper-end of party lists (Liberal Democrats in Scotland)

15 Under-Representation of Women in GB Although over 51% of Population are: Although over 51% of Population are: Significantly under-represented across: Significantly under-represented across: All decision-making bodies All decision-making bodies Including the House of Commons Including the House of Commons

16 WOMEN MPS (WESTMINSTER) Number of MPs% of MPs Note: There are 646 members of the House of Commons Source: Campbell and Lovenduski, 2005.

17 WOMEN MPs (WESTMINSTER) (Percentages) ConservativeLabour

18 WOMEN MPS (SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT: N=129) % 1999% 2003Total MSPs LABOUR SNP CONS LIB DEMS GREENS SSP SSCUn/a0.01 INDEP TOTAL

19 WOMEN MPS (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WALES ) % 1999% 2003Total AMs LABOUR PC CONS LIB DEMS INDEP/OTHERn/a0.01 TOTAL Note: There are 60 members of the Welsh Assembly.

20 WOMEN MPs (EQUIVALENTS) IN EUROPE SWEDEN45.3 FINLAND37.5 DEMARK36.9 NETHERLANDS36.7 SPAIN36.0 BELGIUM34.7 AUSTRIA33.9 GERMANY31.8 LUXEMBOURG23.3 LITHUANIA22.0 PORTUGAL21.3 LATVIA21.0 POLAND20.4 UK19.8 ESTONIA18.8 CZECH REPUBLIC17.0 SLOVAKIA16.7 CYPRUS16.1 GREECE14.0 IRELAND13.3 NOTE: RANKED 14 AMONG THESE EUROPEAN NATIONS AND 51 OF 184 COUNTRIES LISTED BY THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION

21 Explanatory models for the representational weakness of women Socialisation model Socialisation model Situational factors Situational factors Voter stereotypes and discrimination Voter stereotypes and discrimination Process of legislative recruitment Process of legislative recruitment

22 Socialisation model One of the first explanations proposed by political scientists One of the first explanations proposed by political scientists Rests on the assumption that during childhood men and women learn: Rests on the assumption that during childhood men and women learn: different set of behavioural patterns and attitudes which are deemed appropriate for the sex/gender different set of behavioural patterns and attitudes which are deemed appropriate for the sex/gender girls learn traditional female values of nurturing and caring girls learn traditional female values of nurturing and caring boys learn to be competitive and aggressive boys learn to be competitive and aggressive Key point: girls and boys internalise these values and see them as natural and inevitable Key point: girls and boys internalise these values and see them as natural and inevitable so values that are considered appropriate for women are considered inappropriate for politics so values that are considered appropriate for women are considered inappropriate for politics Thus, both women and men consider women unsuitable for politics hence, politics is an exclusively male domain Thus, both women and men consider women unsuitable for politics hence, politics is an exclusively male domain

23 More recent research questions these assumptions 1. Decline in traditional sex-role attitudes and behaviour 1. Decline in traditional sex-role attitudes and behaviour appropriate models for male and female behaviour undergone dramatic change since the 1970s appropriate models for male and female behaviour undergone dramatic change since the 1970s women no longer expected to be passive and nurturing women no longer expected to be passive and nurturing traditional sex-role stereotyping also in decline traditional sex-role stereotyping also in decline hence, many of the characteristics believed suitable for political life now found among women hence, many of the characteristics believed suitable for political life now found among women 2. Research has found no difference between male and female children in relation to: 2. Research has found no difference between male and female children in relation to: - political interest and knowledge - political interest and knowledge - no evidence to support sex-role stereotyping among children - no evidence to support sex-role stereotyping among children Thus: socialisation theory not an adequate explanation Thus: socialisation theory not an adequate explanation

24 Situational factors Argues that the lack of female political representation due to structural or situational factors Argues that the lack of female political representation due to structural or situational factors lesser educational achievement and occupational involvement lesser educational achievement and occupational involvement childcare responsibilities childcare responsibilities Recent research refutes this: Recent research refutes this: similar education levels among men and women similar education levels among men and women rapid growth in female employment rapid growth in female employment fastest growth in employment has been among married women with young children fastest growth in employment has been among married women with young children Thus: situational factors not an adequate explanation Thus: situational factors not an adequate explanation

25 Voter stereotypes and discrimination Key explanation is that the electorate will not vote for women Key explanation is that the electorate will not vote for women reinvention of socialisation explanation under a different guise reinvention of socialisation explanation under a different guise Recent research disputes this assumption Recent research disputes this assumption women and men equally in favour of female representation women and men equally in favour of female representation in many cases a female may be preferred in many cases a female may be preferred Recent research by EOC in Britain found: Recent research by EOC in Britain found: Turnout higher in constituencies where female candidate Turnout higher in constituencies where female candidate both men and women more likely to support a female candidate both men and women more likely to support a female candidate Hence, whatever the reasons for female lack of representation Hence, whatever the reasons for female lack of representation voter bias is not one of them voter bias is not one of them Survey after survey in Britain show that not only does the electorate support the idea of more women Survey after survey in Britain show that not only does the electorate support the idea of more women They should be encouraged to stand for parliament They should be encouraged to stand for parliament

26 Process of legislative recruitment Current explanation for the under-representation of women Current explanation for the under-representation of women Basic assumption: party selection committees both directly and indirectly discriminate against female candidate. How? Basic assumption: party selection committees both directly and indirectly discriminate against female candidate. How? Not only fail to select female candidates but if do, are adopted for the most Not only fail to select female candidates but if do, are adopted for the most problematic seats problematic seats Are not selected as: incumbents or inheritors Are not selected as: incumbents or inheritors but as challengers (fighting a seat held by another party) but as challengers (fighting a seat held by another party) Is this the case? Is this the case? To answer this question need to investigate selection outcomes To answer this question need to investigate selection outcomes as well as the process of selection as well as the process of selection Much of the work in this area by Joni Lovenduski and Pippa Norris Much of the work in this area by Joni Lovenduski and Pippa Norris

27 WOMEN CANDIDATES (WESTMINSTER) (Percentages)

28 WOMEN CANDIDATES BY PARTY, (PERCENTAGES) CONS LABOUR LIB-DEM

29 WOMEN CANDIDATES BY TYPE OF SEAT AND PARTY, 2005 (PERCENTAGES) InheritorChallenger <5% Challenger <10% Unwinnable >10% CONS LABOUR LIB-DEM Source: Campbell and Lovenduski

30 WOMEN MPS ELECTED BY TYPE OF SEAT AND PARTY, 2005 (PERCENTAGES) InheritorChallenger <5% Challenger <10% Unwinnable >10% CONS96817 LABOUR28000 LIB-DEM Source: Campbell and Lovenduski

31 The Selection Process Two explanations for the lack of female representation in relation to the selection process Two explanations for the lack of female representation in relation to the selection process 1. Women are discriminated against by local selection committees 1. Women are discriminated against by local selection committees 2. lack of well-qualified women applicants 2. lack of well-qualified women applicants known as the demand (selectors discriminate) versus the supply (women not apply) explanation known as the demand (selectors discriminate) versus the supply (women not apply) explanation Demand: selectors choose candidates on the basis of stereotypes Demand: selectors choose candidates on the basis of stereotypes favour: well-educated, professional men in early middle-age favour: well-educated, professional men in early middle-age right sort of chap right sort of chap Supply: social bias in parliament simply reflects the pool of applicants Supply: social bias in parliament simply reflects the pool of applicants women absent: women absent: not because discriminated against but because do not apply not because discriminated against but because do not apply or might wish to apply but cannot do so because of resource limitations or might wish to apply but cannot do so because of resource limitations

32 Which Explanation Correct? To assess these competing explanations need to compare the characteristics of To assess these competing explanations need to compare the characteristics of mps, candidates, applicants, party members and voters mps, candidates, applicants, party members and voters MPs – members of parliament MPs – members of parliament Candidates – individuals who are selected to stand for parliament Candidates – individuals who are selected to stand for parliament Applicants on party lists – individuals who put themselves forward for selection Applicants on party lists – individuals who put themselves forward for selection Party members – rank and file and those involved in the selection process Party members – rank and file and those involved in the selection process Voters – general electorate Voters – general electorate This is what Lovenduski and Norris did using data from the British candidate study of 1992 This is what Lovenduski and Norris did using data from the British candidate study of 1992

33 How assess the explanation? If demand explanation correct (selectors discriminate): major difference in the characteristics of applicants versus candidates If demand explanation correct (selectors discriminate): major difference in the characteristics of applicants versus candidates If supply explanation correct (women not come forward): difference between the characteristics of party members versus applicants If supply explanation correct (women not come forward): difference between the characteristics of party members versus applicants

34 Major Findings of the Study MPs were not demographically representative of the British public in terms of the following: race, education, class, age and gender MPs were not demographically representative of the British public in terms of the following: race, education, class, age and gender Parliament dominated by the professional chattering classes - well educated/high income/professional jobs Parliament dominated by the professional chattering classes - well educated/high income/professional jobs Argues this is not because of discrimination against applicants (demand) but due to the available pool of applicants (supply) willing to stand for parliament Argues this is not because of discrimination against applicants (demand) but due to the available pool of applicants (supply) willing to stand for parliament

35 Results Found that within each party, the socio-economic status of mps, candidates and applicants were almost identical Found that within each party, the socio-economic status of mps, candidates and applicants were almost identical Main difference was between these groups and party members Main difference was between these groups and party members hence supports the supply-side explanation in that main difference is between applicants and members hence supports the supply-side explanation in that main difference is between applicants and members not demand explanation as no difference between candidates and applicants not demand explanation as no difference between candidates and applicants

36 Gender results Not as clear-cut Not as clear-cut Supply: more important for Conservatives Supply: more important for Conservatives Demand: Greater role for Labour Demand: Greater role for Labour

37 Gender Differences (Percentages) MPsPPCsListMembersVoters Cons Men Women Labour Men Women Source: Lovenduski and Norris (1995: 117).

38 More recent research Increasing importance of demand factors Increasing importance of demand factors Direct (gender-discriminatory questions asked) and indirect (ideas of what count as a good MP) discrimination in selection process Direct (gender-discriminatory questions asked) and indirect (ideas of what count as a good MP) discrimination in selection process See Lovenduski (2005) See Lovenduski (2005)


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