ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Women’s Movements, Gender Mainstreaming and the Substantive Representation of Women: Where do Parliamentary Bodies Fit?

Comparative Politics
Institutions
Parliaments
Representation
Marian Sawer
Australian National University
Marian Sawer
Australian National University
Download Full Paper

Abstract

Over the past 20 years there has been a proliferation around the world of parliamentary bodies with a gender equality mandate. Yet they are often overlooked because they don’t fit easily into existing frameworks for comparing national machineries for the advancement of women or women’s policy agencies. Nor have they been made visible in much of the work on the substantive representation of women, even as such work has broadened out from a focus on individual critical actors to encompass collectivities. Neither have they been used as an exemplar of the work of feminist ‘insiders’ in women’s movement studies nor generally taken up in legislative studies concerned with public engagement strategies. This Paper will explore existing theoretical frameworks developed within feminist political science and legislative studies in order to identify which elements can best be applied to the study of gender-focused parliamentary bodies. In doing so, it will seek to make more visible feminist institution-building within legislative arenas and the different institutional designs that may be effective in different contexts. It will generate checklists of elements that support the ‘feminist’ label for this form of institution-building and for the functions that may be performed. As a case study, it will examine the work of the parliamentary groups on population and development that have been multiplying in the 21st century and now exist in some 65 parliaments around the world.