The Argument for and Against Gender Quotas

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Discuss the arguments for and against gender quotas aimed at increasing the percentage of women in national parliaments. Consider the implications of your argument for different quota systems. The debate regarding gender identities in politics is today a protruding aspect in our society. Both the domestic and international gender roles and norms are central in the developments in the field of political science and International Relations. The inclusion of women into formal politics through quota systems is one of the key issues in focus for both the current societal debate as well as much of the academic work in the field. This essay will focus on the arguments supporting and opposing both constitutional/legalized and voluntary quotas systems aiming to increase the percentage of women in national parliaments and what implications these quotas systems have on political life and the society as a whole. The first part of the essay will explore the case for mandate gender quotas, why are they implemented, what are they supposed to achieve and what are the implications of the implementation of them. The following part will discuss more flexible quota systems and their impact on political life and society. The compatibility of different societies and electoral systems in relation to quota systems will be explored before the essay is finalized in a conclusion. The implementation of gender quotas in electoral politics is a mean to combat the democratic deficit that occurs when a social group is excluded from the political sphere due to structural or cultural reasons. Quotas are a form of affirmative action/positive discrimination which is meant to remove the structural and cultural obstacles that keep women out of the formal political ... ... middle of paper ... ...The Journal of Politics [ONLINE] 61 (3) pp. 628-657. Available from: JSTOR Mutz, D. C, 2002. Cross-Cutting Social Networks: Testing Democratic Theory in Practice. American political science Review [ONLINE] 96 (1) pp. 111-126. Available from: Camebridge Journals Online Zetterberg, P, 2009. Do Gender Quotas Foster Political Engagement? Lessons from Latin America. Political Research Quarterly [ONLINE] 62 (4) pp. 715-730. Available from: Sage Publications Online Reports Dahlerup, D, Freidenvall, L, Johansson, E, Stolt, E, Bivald, K and Persson-Weiss, L, 2011. Electoral Gender Quota Systems and their implementation in Europe. European Parliament Report. Available from: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/studies Tripp, A, M, 2003. The Changing Face of Africa’s Legislatures: Women and Quotas. Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Available from: Quotaproject.org
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