This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world. How gendered recruitment criteria, gendered institutions, the white-male norm, stereotyping and political-related sexism and misogyny influence women’s decisions to actively participate in politics.

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Although women in the Netherlands are allowed to actively participate in politics since 1919, the descriptive representation of women – in both the national as in the local level – is still too low compared with the representation of men. In the literature, possible barriers are put forward that might explain this lower representation as the factors are possibly causing women to not aim or as-pire to a career in politics. Therefore, this thesis examines whether these barriers result in a lower descriptive representation of women in politics in the Netherlands by using the municipality of Nijmegen as a case. As the municipality of Nijmegen can be considered a least-likely case, this study allows for more generalization for the Netherlands as a whole. The research is based on elev-en semi-structured interviews with two elected and nine not-elected women that were on the candi-date list for the municipality council in March 2022. Evidence has been found that right-oriented women have internalized that they do not conform to recruitment criteria. Further, although women in general argue that they can affectively operate within the political arena, there is improvement for transparency and less lobbying. In addition, since women do struggle with the white-male norm, this indicates gender dynamics. Also, although women argue that they suffer from more prejudice in comparison to men, sexism doesn’t serve as a barrier. Finally, whether participants experienced misogyny depended on how active and outspoken they were and how affected a woman was by this hate, depending on her age and self-esteem.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen