Conceptions of Female Political Representation - Perspectives of Rwandan Female Representatives

Citation:

Coffé, Hilde. 2012. “Conceptions of Female Political Representation - Perspectives of Rwandan Female Representatives.” Women’s Studies International Forum 35 (4): 286–97. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2012.05.004.

Author: Hilde Coffé

Abstract:

An increasing amount of research has investigated the number of female representatives in national Parliaments (descriptive representation) and the effect on both policy output (substantive representation) and women's political participation and trust (symbolic representation). Little research exists, however, on how female representatives themselves think about female political representation and no study has empirically investigated their conceptions of female political representation. Using Q methodology, this explorative one case study investigates the conceptions of female political representation held by female representatives in the Rwandan Parliament, which is the most gender-equal Parliament in the world. On the basis of our analysis, three groups of female representatives emerged, each with a unique conception of female political representation: female representatives focusing on (a) symbolic and descriptive representations; (b) symbolic representation and power; and (c) substantive representation. These conceptions matter because they are crucial to our understanding of female representatives' actual behavior.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Quotas, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2012

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.