Cultural Obstacles to Equal Representation


Norris, Pippa, and Ronald Inglehart. 2001. “Cultural Obstacles to Equal Representation.” Journal of Democracy 12 (3): 126–40.

Authors: Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart


A fundamental problem facing the worldwide process of democratization is the continued lack of gender equality in political leadership. The basic facts are not in dispute: Today women represent only one in seven parliamentarians, one in ten cabinet ministers, and, at the apex of power, one in 20 heads of state or government. Multiple factors have contributed to this situation, including structural and institutional barriers. But what is the influence of political culture? Are attitudes toward women as political leaders a significant barrier to their empowerment? In particular, how important is culture as compared with structural and institutional factors? These are the questions that our study seeks to address.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance

Year: 2001

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