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Is descriptive representation in the political sphere necessary for true parity to exist?

Wendy Dee Bumsted Hind, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Why is it that women have become so influential in electing representation, but not in physically representing themselves? Why is it that for the past 15 years, women's physical representation has not gained momentum? The representation of women still hovers around 17–24% in every elected office. ^ Theories abound as an explanation for understanding this phenomenon. They include everything from institutional barriers to not being courted into entering electoral races. Underlying this debate however is a fundamental question that this dissertation attempts to dive into more than other literature has in the past. I attempt to understand whether descriptive representation (the actual physical representation of women) is really necessary. Can male elected representatives represent their female constituency on issues that are important to them and vote accordingly? In other words, can men adequately represent women's issues through substantive representation or is descriptive representation necessary? ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

Hind, Wendy Dee Bumsted, "Is descriptive representation in the political sphere necessary for true parity to exist?" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3355625.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3355625

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