Not only women: measuring conditions for women's substantive representation in Policy outcomes

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Gender equality has been an ongoing issue, with public expectations that have become more complex. Yet, policy progress representing gender equality globally has been lagging, with levels of progress drastically different across countries. The early theorists on gender representation often look into women’s policy representation by including more women in parliaments. Decades later the meaning of gender representation has become more complex, yet some countries have not even managed to deliver women’s representation. It seems that including women in parliaments is not enough for delivering women’s substantive representation, let alone gender representation. As such, this study uses logistic multilevel modeling of up to 91 countries from 1990-2017 to answer the research question: under which conditions in the policymaking process can gender representation improve women’s substantive representation in policies? This thesis uses policymaking theories as a tool to address this question in tandem with studies on women’s representation. It does so by measuring the effects of the proportion of women in parliament, in combination with electoral systems, government majority parties’ ideologies, and women’s participation in social movements to the likelihood of a gender-equal pay policy. The empirical analysis shows that while the proportion of women in parliament affects the success of women’s policy representation, institutional factors are still substantial through the role of parties in power especially. This thesis also proves that this empirical model of analysis can be applied to other policy issues to test what conditions support or prevent policy progress, across countries.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen