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Rethinking Political Representation: : A new measurement of gender equality in political representation in the European Union

Author:

Irene Marta Brusini

London school of Economics and Political Science, GB
About Irene
MSc International and European Public Policy, Class of 2021, The London School of Economics and Political Science and Bocconi University (Dual Degree)
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Abstract

Feminist scholars are moving away from unidimensional indicators of gender equality in political representation, such as the number of elected female officials. This paper aims to make an important methodological contribution to the field of minority representation by introducing the Gender Political Representation Index (GPRI). The GPRI complements traditional measures of gender equality in political empowerment with gender mainstreaming practices observed in the European Union. This new index goes beyond confined gender-related interests, such as childcare and family policies, and encourages a comprehensive understanding of gender as a multi-layered system, with important consequences at the micro, meso (interpersonal, household, community…), and macro level. This paper uses the GPRI to investigate whether more proportional institutional systems tend to be associated with more gender-equal political representation. Using quantitative analysis, I argue in favor of this hypothesis. Moreover, I tentatively identify the average district magnitude as a potential channel through which more proportional systems score better in the GPRI. Overall, the GPRI refocuses the attention on substantive representation. It also contributes to the literature on correlations between proportionality and gender equality in political representation, finding a positive association between the two. As a consequence, this paper points out the interesting question of how average district magnitude affects substantive representation that future research shall answer.
How to Cite: Brusini, I.M., 2022. Rethinking Political Representation: : A new measurement of gender equality in political representation in the European Union. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 10(1).
Published on 20 Apr 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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  • Measurement of Gender Equality (EN)

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