“Paxton and Hughes provide the most comprehensive coverage yet attempted of women's increasing role in electoral politics across the globe. Women, Politics, and Power should be a valuable contribution to courses in political sociology and globalization as well as gendered courses in politics.”


Women, Politics, and Power provides a clear and detailed introduction to women's political participation and 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. In addition to describing worldwide themes, the book acknowledges differences among women through attention to intersectionality and heterogeneity among women. Dedicated chapters on six geographic regions highlight the distinct paths women may take to political power in different parts of the world. There is simply no other book that offers such a thorough and multidisciplinary synthesis of research on women's political power around the world.

Introduction to Women in Politics

Introduction to women in politics

Women are underrepresented in politics. Simply turning on the television to a summit of world leaders, a debate in the British Parliament, or a UN Security Council meeting reveals few female faces. Women make up half of the population of every country in the world. But the worldwide average percentage of women in national parliaments is only 20%. Of the more than 190 countries in the world, a woman is the head of government (president or a prime minister) in only 13. Women are 15% of ambassadors to the United Nations and 17% of the world's cabinet ministers.

But women's participation in politics has increased dramatically over the past 100 years. In 1890, women did not have ...

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