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Women's Presence in Politics and Male Politicians Commitment to Gender Equality in Politics: Evidence from 290 Swedish Local Councils

Journal article
Authors Andrej Kokkonen
Lena Wängnerud
Published in Journal of Women Politics & Policy
Volume 38
Issue 2
Pages 199-220
ISSN 1554-477X
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 199-220
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/1554477x.2016.12...
Keywords Gender, politics, Sweden, DESCRIPTIVE REPRESENTATION, SUBSTANTIVE REPRESENTATION, UNITED-STATES, CONSCIOUSNESS, IMPACT, PREFERENCES, INEQUALITY, ATTITUDES, OUTCOMES, CONTEXT
Subject categories Gender Studies, Political Science

Abstract

This article provides the first comprehensive empirical test of how women's presence in politics affects male politicians' attitudes toward gender equality as an abstract ideal and their personal willingness to strive for women's interests. Using a unique survey of all 13,000 locally elected politicians in Sweden (response rate 63 percent), we find a negative association between a greater presence of women and male politicians' personal willingness to strive for women's interests. However, there is no such effect on male politicians' support for gender equality as an abstract ideal. We argue that the found pattern can likely be explained by the fact that it may be costly for male politicians to personally strive for women's interests, whereas it does not cost them anything to commit to gender equality as an abstract ideal.

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