Women in Politics: Why are they under-represented?
To highlight the International Women’s day, the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics together with researchers from the FREE Network have explored reasons why women are under-represented in political offices worldwide under the FROGEE research initiative, which is supported by the Swedish government via Sida and Si.
This year the theme for International Women’s Day brings the leadership of women to the forefront. But given the persistent under-representation of women in political institutions, where important decisions that shape societies are taken, it is very important to understand the causes of the gender gap in political representation.
Broadly speaking, three main reasons are most often considered:
• women’s unwillingness to become politicians,
• voters’ bias – voter discrimination against women
• parties’ bias – preference to promote male rather than female candidates
Researchers have provided an overview of some of the most recent scientific evidence that explores women under-representation in political institutions in Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. The current state of women in politics in each of the FREE Network countries are explored in the respective country brief:
• Belarus country report | Women in Belarusian politics
• Georgia country report | Georgia’s weakest link towards gender equality progress
• Latvia country report | Women’s Political Empowerment in Latvia
• Poland country report | Women in Polish parliamentary elections after 1989
• Russia country report | Status quo and the dynamics of female representation in Russian politics
• Ukraine country report | Women in politics in Ukraine: Underrepresented but breaking through
Authors conclude that constant monitoring of the gender gaps in political institutions is important, even in presence of clear upward trends, since progress is rarely linear and therefore needs continuous nurturing.
Access the full policy brief to learn more, here.