Electoral systems and women’s representation: A long-term perspective

Ian McAllister, Donley T. Studlar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper provides a long-term perspective on women’s legislative representation in 20 Western democracies by describing and analysing the patterns over a 50-year period, 1950-2000. Descriptive patterns show that the same countries who were leaders in women’s representation, albeit at very low levels, in the 1950s, remain the leaders, but with an increased gap, in 2000. A multivariate analysis of factors influencing women’s representation over the entire period finds that the most important variables are a proportional electoral system, early women’s enfranchisement, and the introduction of gender quotas for political parties. The conclusion emphasises the implications of these findings for women’s legislative representation in Anglo-American democracies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-14
    Number of pages12
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


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