© 2013

Party Politics, Religion, and Women’s Leadership

Lebanon in Comparative Perspective

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Fatima Sbaity Kassem
    Pages 1-8
  3. Fatima Sbaity Kassem
    Pages 113-132
  4. Fatima Sbaity Kassem
    Pages 133-165
  5. Fatima Sbaity Kassem
    Pages 167-201
  6. Fatima Sbaity Kassem
    Pages 203-230
  7. Fatima Sbaity Kassem
    Pages 231-237
  8. Fatima Sbaity Kassem
    Pages 239-244
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 245-283

About this book


Exploring the interlinkages of political parties, religiosity, and women's leadership and nominations to public office, this book argues that as party religiosity increases, women's chances of assuming leadership positions fall. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods, it advances a new theory of party variation in religiosity.


Institution Political Parties women

About the authors

Fatima Sbaity Kassem is the former Director of the UN-Centre for Women, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) in Baghdad, Amman, and Beirut and a freelance consultant on gender and women's issues in Arab countries. She received her PhD from Columbia University, USA and was Regional Coordinator for the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995).

Bibliographic information


'Fatima Sbaity Kassem produces an incisive analysis. Cutting through prevailing explanations, she pinpoints political party religiosity as the driver of low female parliamentary representation in 330 parties and 26 countries. No previous work on women's political participation has targeted a precise variable so persuasively. Exceedingly readable and powerful, this book is an eye-opener for feminists, political activists, and social theorists.' - Suad Joseph, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies, University of California, Davis, USA

'This unique book with its bold argument about the impact of political party religiosity on patterns of women's leadership is sure to be debated and discussed. Backed by prodigious and original research broadly comparative and statistical in its cross-national vision, on the one hand, and astoundingly detailed in its close analysis of the case study of Lebanon, on the other Fatima Sbaity Kassem's findings are as illuminating as her thesis is provocative.' - Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University, USA

'Why have women's gains in socioeconomic and demographic realms not translated into greater women's leadership in politics, despite women's increased mobilization within political parties? Espousing a compelling institutional perspective, Fatima Sbaity Kassem shows that parties dominated by religious agendas block women's advancement to leadership positions. Based on extensive fieldwork involving in-depth interviews in Lebanon and a comparative cross-national analysis, her book makes a valuable contribution to the studies of women's political participation in general.' - Gunes Murat Tezcur, Loyola University Chicago, USA