Gender, Politics, and Women's Empowerment

  • Valentine M Moghadam
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

The literature on gender, women, and politics has examined both the gendered nature of political processes and women's participation patterns. Whether cast in terms of a variable or as an integral element of the social structure, gender is seen as pervading the realm of politics in that it reflects the distribution of power and reinforces notions of masculinity and femininity, and it influences the patterns of political participation by women and by men. Thus it is the social relations of gender — and the ways in which gender dynamics operate in the family, the labor market, and the polity — that explain why women have been historically marginalized from the corridors of political power, why feminists refer to “manly states” and “patriarchal politics” (Enloe 1990, 2007; Tickner 1992; Peterson and Runyan 1993), and why an essential policy prescription for enhancing women's political participation at both national and local levels is the electoral quota. By the same token, the operations of gender help us recognize the strategies for women's political empowerment, such as the formation of women's movements and organizations that have become prominent in civil society.


Civil Society Political Participation Local Governance Democratic Transition Parliamentary Seat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentine M Moghadam
    • 1
  1. 1.Sociology and Women's StudiesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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