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Has Democracy Failed Women?

Has Democracy Failed Women?

Drude Dahlerup

ISBN: 978-1-509-51636-0 November 2017 Polity 144 Pages


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Why are women still under-represented in politics? Can we speak of democracy when women are not fully included in political decision-making? Some argue that we are on the right track to full gender equality in politics, while others talk about women hitting the glass ceiling or being included in institutions with shrinking power, not least as a result of neo-liberalism.

In this powerful essay, internationally renowned scholar of gender and politics Drude Dahlerup explains how democracy has failed women and what can be done to tackle it. Political institutions, including political parties, she argues, are the real gatekeepers to elected positions all over the world, but they need to be much more inclusive. By reforming these institutions and carefully implementing gender quotas we can move towards improved gender equality and greater democratization.

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  • Contents
  • Preface
  • List of tables and figures
  • Chapter 1: Exclusion without words
  • Chapter 2: Breaking male dominance in politics
  • Chapter 3: The impact of Gender Quotas
  • Chapter 4: Gendering Public Policy
  • Chapter 5: Women in global politics

"Drude Dahlerup offers an interesting, lucid and challenging argument about the many relationships between gender and democracy. This book should be read by anyone interested in feminism and politics."
Joni Lovenduski, Professor Emerita of Politics, Birkbeck College

"This wide-ranging and well-informed book offers an impressive overview or women's political empowerment in global historical perspective. Democracy, it concludes, has failed women, but women can revitalize democracy, providing a powerful impetus for future studies and advocacy for more women in political life."
Mona Lena Krook, Rutgers University