Women, Politics, and Power provides a clear and detailed introduction to women’s political representation across a wide range of countries and regions. Using broad statistical overviews and detailed case-study accounts, authors Pamela Paxton and Melanie Hughes document both historical trends and the contemporary state of women’s political strength across diverse countries. There is simply no other book that offers such a thorough and multidisciplinary synthesis of research on women’s political power from around the world.
Chapter 4: Explaining the Political Representation of Women—Culture and Social Structure
Explaining the Political Representation of Women—Culture and Social Structure
The previous two chapters outlined women's struggle to participate as equals in political decision making. Why has it been such a struggle? And why have women succeeded in gaining political power in some places and not in others? In this section of the book (Chapters 4–6), we address three broad explanations for differences in women's participation—culture, social structure, and politics—and consider how they interact to influence women's chances.
Women-in-politics researchers often distinguish between two sets of factors that produce different levels of political representation for women across the world: supply-side factors and demand-side factors (Norris 1993; Paxton 1997; Randall 1987). Supply factors are those that increase the pool of ...