Just as Latin American countries began to transition to democracy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the region also saw gains in social, cultural and economic gender equality. In accordance with modernization theories, women in the region have also made significant inroads into elected office. However, these gains vary a great deal between countries in Latin America. They also vary significantly at different levels of government even within the same country. Insidegovernment arenas, representation is highly gendered with rules and norms that advantage men and disadvantage women, limiting women's access to full political power. While one might expect these variations to map onto socioeconomic and cultural conditions within each country, they don't correlate. This book makes, for the first time, a comprehensive comparison of gender and representation across the region - in seven countries - and at five different levels: the presidency, cabinets, national legislatures, political parties, and subnational governments. Overall, it argues that gender inequality in political representation in Latin America is rooted in democratic institutions and the democratic challenges and political crises facing the region. Institutions and political context notonly influence the number of women and men elected to office, but also what they do once in office, the degree of power to which they gain access, and how their presence and actions influence democracy and society, more broadly. Drawing on the expertise of scholars of women, gender, and politicalinstitutions, this book is the most comprehensive analysis of women's representation in Latin America to date, and an important resource for research on women's representation worldwide. The causes, consequences, and challenges to women's representation in Latin America are not unique to that region, and the book uses Latin American patterns to draw broad conclusions about gendered representation in other areas of the world.
Gender and Representation in Latin America
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