Making Gender Salient: From Gender Quota Laws to Policy

  • 5h 8m
  • Ana Catalano Weeks,
  • Cambridge University Press
  • 2022

Do gender quota laws – policies that mandate women's inclusion on parties' candidate slates – affect policy outcomes? Making Gender Salient tackles this crucial question by offering a new theory to understand when and how gender quota laws impact policy. Drawing on cross-national data from high-income democracies and a mixed-methods research design, the book argues that quotas lead to policy change for issues characterized by a gender gap in preferences, especially if these issues deviate from the usual left/right party policy divide. The book focuses on one such issue, work-family policies, and finds that quotas shift work-family policies in the direction of gender equality. Substantive chapters show that quotas make gender more salient by giving women louder voices within parties, providing access to powerful ministerial roles, and encouraging male party leaders to compete on previously marginalized issues. The book concludes that quotas are one important way of facilitating congruence between women's policy preferences and actual policy outcomes.

  • Introduces a new theoretical approach to studying the effects of gender quota laws and increased numbers of women in legislative office on policies
  • Draws on cross-national data, providing the first study the effects of quotas on work-family policies across countries
  • Takes a mixed methods approach to incorporate both statistical work and case-based analysis

About the Author

Ana Catalano Weeks is an Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics, Languages, & International Studies at the University of Bath.

In this Book

  • Introduction
  • When Do Quotas Matter? A Theory of the Substantive Representation of Cross-Cutting Interests
  • What Do Women Want? Gender Gaps in Preferences
  • The First Stage of Policy Change—The Effects of Quotas on Party Priorities
  • The Effects of Gender Quota Laws on Work–Family Policies
  • How Gender Quota Laws Change Work–Family Policies
  • Conclusion
  • References