Elections

Mothers of Buddhas, Mothers of Nations: Kumaranatunga and Her Meteoric Rise to Power in Sri Lanka

Citation:

Bartholomeusz, Tessa. 1999. “Mothers of Buddhas, Mothers of Nations: Kumaranatunga and Her Meteoric Rise to Power in Sri Lanka.” Feminist Studies 25 (1): 211-25.

Author: Tessa Bartholomeusz

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, Political Participation, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 1999

Engendering Grassroots Democracy: Research, Training, and Networking for Women in Local Self-Governance in India

Citation:

Sekhon, Joti. 2006. “Engendering Grassroots Democracy: Research, Training, and Networking for Women in Local Self-Governance in India.” NWSA Journal 18 (2): 101–22. doi:10.1353/nwsa.2006.0041.

Author: Joti Sekhon

Abstract:

The author discusses efforts to promote women's effective participation in electoral politics in rural India as an illustration of feminist politics and participatory democracy. She argues that feminist rethinking of politics and democracy can catalyze women's effective participation and challenge the structures of patriarchy that limit political action and social mobility. The opportunity for women's widespread participation in local elections came as a result of the 73rd Amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1993, reserving 33 percent of elected seats in village councils for female candidates. That alone, however, is not enough, as women are limited by a variety of social, cultural, economic, and political factors, such as traditional gendered expectations of the role and position of women in the family and community, caste and class inequalities, lack of education, and lack of knowledge of the laws. In this article, the author analyzes the role of social movement organizations engaged in participatory action research, training, advocacy, and networking with and for women at the grassroots level. Detailed exposition of the work of Aalochana, a feminist organization in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, provides insight into the possibilities and challenges of feminist politics to engender grassroots democracy.

Keywords: feminist politics, grassroots democracy, participatory democracy, women in politics, women's community-based activism, women and political participation in India, women in panchayati raj or local self-governance in India, feminist networks, gender and grassroots politics

Topics: Caste, Class, Democracy / Democratization, Education, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Elections, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2006

Coalition Building, Election Rules, and Party Politics: South African Women's Path to Parliament

Citation:

Britton, Hannah E. 2002. “Coalition Building, Election Rules, and Party Politics: South African Women’s Path to Parliament.” Africa Today 49 (4): 33–67.

Author: Hannah E. Britton

Abstract:

This paper argues that pre-transition mobilization by South African women fostered post transition success in constitutional mandates, party politics, and office holding. Informed by examples of failed postliberation gender movements in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Angola, South African women's groups worked collectively and individually to advance gender equality. Women mobilized around their gender identity to form a powerful multiparty women's coalition, which became a vehicle through which women pushed for inclusion in the Constitutional Assembly. Using this external power-base, women's branches of major political parties compelled their parties' leaders to implement affirmative-action measures for candidate recruitment and selection. These measures, particularly the gender quota of the African National Congress, have pressured all political parties to increase the number of women on their party-lists in subsequent elections.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2002

Enhancing Women’s Political Participation: Legislative Recruitment and Electoral Systems

Citation:

Matland, Richard E. 2005. “Enhancing Women’s Political Participation: Legislative Recruitment and Electoral Systems.” In Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers, edited by Julie Ballington and Azza Karam, 93-111. Stockholm, Sweden: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

Author: Richard Matland

Abstract:

The following two chapters examine strategies to overcome the obstacles to political participation outlined previously. This chapter focuses on two issues. First, we examine the principal steps involved in the process of recruiting to countries’ legislatures. Second, we look at the effect of a country’s electoral system. Which electoral systems are best suited to securing the election of women, and why? What specific factors should women be concerned about in the design of electoral systems? By addressing these questions, we hope to provide some insight into the effective and practical strategies that can be used to increase women’s parliamentary representation.

Keywords: political participation, women in politics, electoral systems

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, Political Participation

Year: 2005

Constitutional Provisions and Enhancing Participation of Women in Elections

Citation:

Ndulo, Muna. 2004. “Constitutional Provisions and Enhancing Participation of Women in Elections.” Paper presented at United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) Expert Group Meeting on Enhancing Women's Participation in Electoral Processes in Post-Conflict Countries, Glen Cove, January 19-22.

Author: Muna Ndulo

Abstract:

In most parts of the world and in countries of differing economic levels of development, a huge problem remains in ensuring the full participation of women in the political process. Although women are underrepresented in the political process in most countries, the situations tends to be worse in post-conflict societies. In post conflict societies, while women endure the same trauma as the rest of the population, they are disproportionally harmed /affected by literacy rates, poverty, violence and gender-role stereotyping. This paper discusses the participation of women in post conflict societies from a perspective of the legislative measures that can be taken to enhance the participation of women. It also considers non legislative measures such as the role of the media. The paper first provides a background on constitutional provisions relevant to elections, next examines the participation of women in elections and the problems they face in their efforts to participate in the elections. It then considers legislative approaches that have been taken in several countries to increase women participation. It ends with a conclusion that focuses on the chances of achieving the objective of improving women participation in elections.

Keywords: women in politics, political participation, post-conflict, elections, legislation

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Elections, Political Participation, Post-Conflict

Year: 2004

Women's Representation in Parliament: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis

Citation:

Krook, Mona Lena. 2010. "Women's Representation in Parliament: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis." Political Studies 58: 886-908.

Author: Mona Lena Krook

Abstract:

In recent years, statistical and case study research has increasingly reached conflicting findings in terms of the factors explaining cross-national variations in the percentage of women elected to national parliaments. To reconcile the conclusions of large and small research, this article employs qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), a medium technique, to study two populations of cases, Western and sub-Saharan African countries. In contrast to work predicated on assumptions of causal homogeneity and causal competition, the study reveals that multiple combinations of conditions lead to higher and lower levels of female representation. This finding corroborates the two guiding principles of QCA, causal combination and equifinality, suggesting that these methods may offer greater leverage than traditional techniques in discerning the various factors facilitating and hindering women’s access to political office.

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Year: 2010

Beyond Supply and Demand: A Feminist-Institutionalist Theory of Candidate Selection

Citation:

Krook, Mona Lena. 2010. "Beyond Supply and Demand: A Feminist-Institutionalist Theory of Candidate Selection." Political Research Quarterly 63 (4): 707-20.

Author: Mona Lena Krook

Abstract:

Dynamics of candidate selection are central to political representation. The dominant model used to study the case of women focuses on the supply of and demand for female aspirants. This article develops a critique of this approach, by drawing on two sets of theoretical tools: institutionalism and feminism. It subsequently elaborates an alternative perspective on candidate selection based on configurations of three kinds of gendered institutions: systemic, practical, and normative. The utility of this approach is then explored through three paired comparisons of cases in which quota policies have been introduced, disrupting some but not necessarily all aspects of gendered institutional configurations.

Keywords: political institutions, quotas, electoral systems, identity politics, political representation, feminist perspectives

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, Political Participation

Year: 2010

Dazzling the World: A Study of India's Constitutional Amendment Mandating Reservations for Women on Rural Panchayats

Citation:

Harmon, Louise, and Eileen Kaufman. 2004. "Dazzling the World: A Study of India's Constitutional Amendment Mandating Reservations for Women on Rural Panchayats." Berkeley Women's Law Journal 19 (1): 32-105.

Authors: Louise Harmon, Eileen Kaufman

Keywords: democracy, local government, constitutional design, political institutions

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2004

The Rise of Gender Quota Laws: Expanding the Spectrum of Determinants for Electoral Reform

Citation:

Celis, Karen, Mona Lena Krook, and Petra Meier. 2011. "The Rise of Gender Quota Laws: Expanding the Spectrum of Determinants for Electoral Reform." West European Politics 34 (3): 514-30.

Authors: Karen Celis, Mona Lena Krook, Petra Meier

Abstract:

The seminal work of Arend Lijphart, Electoral Systems and Party Systems (1994), limits the definition of electoral reforms to those affecting electoral formulas, district magnitudes, assembly size, or electoral thresholds. Following this definition, studies on electoral reform have put political parties and their motivations at centre stage. Expanding the definition of electoral reform, however, requires a move beyond parties to explore the multiple possible sources of change. This article examines the most common reforms of recent years, electoral gender quota policies, and points to at least four explanations for the adoption of gender quota laws. Based on extensive data from gender quota campaigns, the article suggests that the literature on this topic would benefit from efforts to broaden the analytical focus to include the role of agency, group interests, and discursive struggles, and to call attention to the possibility of causal diversity by revealing different routes to electoral reform.

Keywords: governance, elections, affirmative action, gender quotas

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Political Participation

Year: 2011

Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Islam and Women's Rights

Citation:

Kandiyoti, Deniz. 2007. "Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Islam and Women's Rights." Third World Quarterly 28 (3): 503-17.

Author: Deniz Kandiyoti

Abstract:

This paper argues that gender issues are becoming politicized in novel and counterproductive ways in contexts where armed interventions usher in new blueprints for governance and 'democratization'. Using illustrations from constitutional and electoral processes in Afghanistan and Iraq, it analyses how the nature of emerging political settlements in environments of high risk and insecurity may jeopardize stated international commitments to a women's rights agenda. The disjuncture between stated aims and observed outcomes becomes particularly acute in contexts where security and the rule of law are severely compromised, where Islam becomes a stake in power struggles among contending factions and where ethnic/sectarian constituencies struggles of representation in defense of their collective rights.

Keywords: post-conflict reconstruction, women's political participation, governance, Islam, women's rights

Annotation:

  • Since the September 11 attacks and the US’ subsequent invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been various political efforts to incorporate women’s rights into the reconstruction agendas of Iraq and Afghanistan; however, in the absence of stable government systems, the realization of these rights has been difficult. In Afghanistan, a new Constitution was drafted in 2004 that advocated the political representation of women. These efforts at gender equality have been undermined, however, by documents such as Article 3 of the Constitution entitled “Islam and Constitutionality,” which demands that all governmental laws abide by the laws of Islam.
  • In Iraq, the situation of women deteriorated in the years following the 1980-88 Iran-Iran War and the subsequent invasion of Kuwait. Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the country underwent a process of Islamization, which delegitimized the efforts of various Iraqi women’s rights groups. Sectarian strife also poses a barrier to the inclusion of women in the political processes in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, women generally affiliate themselves with ethnic and political constituencies, which divides them from one another, preventing them from uniting for a common women’s rights cause. In Iraq, despite the quota promoting women’s participation in politics, most women identify as Shiites, the more conservative of Islam’s factions. Kandiyoti also argues that compounded with the conservative Muslim religion, the war economies of Iraq and Afghanistan have exacerbated gender-based violence.
  • Kandiyoti proceeds to address the reasons for violations of women’s rights in Afghanistan, attributing the poor situation of women to a combination of poverty, displacement, and the drug economy. During the civil war following the emergence of the Taliban in 1994, human rights violations, including crimes against women, were rampant. The Taliban imposed laws the limited the freedoms of women, including a conservative dress code and a curfew. Because of the poverty that defined the post-conflict period in Afghanistan, many men resorted to female trafficking as a source of income and sexual violence as an outlet for economic-related stress.
  • Kandiyoti concludes by stressing that the women’s rights agenda that accompanies post-conflict reconstruction efforts faces major hurdles. Prolonged conflict has also brought about social changes in Afghanistan and Iraq that force women to combat the threat from conservative social forces while also fighting for their rights.
     

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Constitutions, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq

Year: 2007

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