Gender and Parliament: The Impact of the Political Presence of Women

  • Tània Verge
  • Amparo Novo
  • Isabel Diz
  • Marta Lois


Based on an integrated perspective of political representation, this chapter identifies the main gender differences in MPs’ traits and seniority in politics and investigates whether the feminization of parliaments impacts on how representation is exercised. We find that female and male MPs have a similar preparation, which debunks the meritocracy argument against gender quotas. Yet, it is tougher for women to strike a work-life balance, as can be seen in dominant family models across MPs. Results also indicate that the legislative agenda has been engendered, with more attention being paid to social issues. Concerning representational styles, female MPs are found to connect more often than male MPs to civil society organizations but they are not considered to make parliamentary practices more consensual and less aggressive.


Gender quotas Descriptive representation Women in parliament 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tània Verge
    • 1
  • Amparo Novo
    • 2
  • Isabel Diz
    • 3
  • Marta Lois
    • 3
  1. 1.Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universidad de OviedoOviedoSpain
  3. 3.Universidad de Santiago de CompostelaLa CoruñaSpain

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