Women in politics: why are they under-represented?

Women in politics: why are they under-represented?

March 8, 2021

Women are generally under-represented in political offices worldwide, and their under-representation becomes larger in more senior positions. In the brief Women in Politics: Why Are They Under-represented? recent academic literature on the likely causes of women’s under-representation is reviewed. Broadly speaking, two main causes is presented “supply-side” and “demand-side” factors. The former include women’s potentially lower willingness to run for political office, whereas the latter include voters’ and party leaders’ prejudices against women in politics. In conclusion, some of the policies that have been proposed or used to empower women in politics are summarized and evidence on their effectiveness is reviewed when available.

The policy brief includes country reports for Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine. It was published by the Forum for Research on Eastern Europe and Emerging Economies (FREE Network).

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