Advanced Search

Women in politics : a cross-national demand and supply analysis

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Stephen Daniel Ansolabehere. en_US Prasad, Bela en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science. en_US 2005-08-24T20:58:24Z 2005-08-24T20:58:24Z 2002 en_US 2002 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2002. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 142-149). Includes bibliographical references (leaves 142-149). en_US
dc.description.abstract It is striking that the sharp increase in the number of countries moving towards self-governance and democracy has not been accompanied by more equal political representation of women. What is equally puzzling is the contrast in the share of women in positions of political authority observed between countries, with many developed nations having fewer women legislators than a number of lesser-developed countries. Why are there so few women in most parliaments and why is there such variation across countries? To understand gender-based inequality in political authority, we look at the various stages of candidacy and identify potential bottlenecks to women participation and election into public office. There are three stages which one must pass through successfully to become a legislator. The first is becoming eligible and a part of the pool from which politicians are drawn, then being selected as a candidate and finally being elected to office. Potential barriers to entry for women in the legislative process may exist at any or all of these three stages. Each of these candidacy stages is discussed through a cross-national analysis and a case study of India. The cross-national data is for 175 countries at three points in time: 1975, 1985 and 1995. The Indian case study looks at women in parliament from the first general elections in 1951-1952 and focuses most on the 1996 parliamentary data. We argue that the key factor limiting the recruitment of women into politics is women's sparse representation in the pool from which politicians are recruited. Just as in thecase of men, women are drawn from an elite pool based on their occupational achievements. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Countries that have a greater share of women in their professional and managerial labor force are able to recruit more women into politics. Having women well represented in the eligibility pool for political candidates, broadly the elite professions is necessary to provide a conduit for women into politics. While female labor force participation has increased dramatically in the last three decades, the relative position of women in highly paid/high status professions has increased only marginally. So it is not a case of active discrimination against women in politics or a case of different gender preferences, with women having less interest in politics. It is fundamentally a case of women being less represented in the specific labor pool from which politicians are drawn. In a number of developing countries, secluded labor markets have provided access for women from elite families into top industry and professional leadership positions. This has led to a relatively larger proportion of women in the political eligibility pool and consequently to a higher level of female recruitment in politics than in countries in which women comprise a smaller part of the elite professional pool. However, in many countries, the process of industrialization has generated economic and social pressures that have imposed greater restrictions on women in the economic, and consequently, political sphere. This suggests that economic development, while it opens some opportunities for women, can also make achievement of higher leadership positions more difficult. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Bela Prasad. en_US
dc.format.extent 157, [1] leaves en_US
dc.format.extent 13092110 bytes
dc.format.extent 13091867 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Political Science. en_US
dc.title Women in politics : a cross-national demand and supply analysis en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 51927611 en_US

Files in this item

Name Size Format Description
51927611-MIT.pdf 12.48Mb PDF Full printable version

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record